On “Getting Over It” & Related New Year’s Shit

Carrie does NYE.

The most appropriate photo – Carrie does NYE.

A lot of people think it’s very important to set goals. I think I’m one of those people, but I’m not entirely sure. Over the past year I’ve learned that I think things about myself that aren’t necessarily true. I make lists a lot. I try and get a better grade than I did before or run an extra half-mile at the gym. I set standards for myself. I put pressure on myself. When I mess up, I tell myself I’ll never make the same mistake again. Literally, I make promises to myself in my mind. Obviously, I don’t always get where I wanted to be. But I think about it, and that counts for something, right?

Today, people are concerned with two things: 1) gaining weight over the holidays, and 2) making New Year’s resolutions. I make resolutions every year. I don’t ever look back at them, or keep them in mind as the snow melts and the sun takes me out of social hibernation, but I sit and write a few things down on the last day of December.

I always knew I loved to write. Writing was the one thing people told me I was good at. I didn’t always want to be a writer, though. I went through the usual career phases–National Geographic photographer, marine biologist, professional dancer, etc. But as I’ve gotten older, I realized something: I had a lot to say. Therefore, I had a lot to write.

Last New Year’s Eve I decided I would start a blog. I would post every Sunday (eventually, I decided to post on Wednesdays, too) and I would write about things people would actually want to read and say the things people didn’t always want to say. The Fro-Yo Diaries was conceived and before I knew it, I was a teen mom to this baby of a blog.

Spike Jonze’s recently released film, Her, is about a guy that falls in love with a computer operating system. Think Plankton and his wife Karen circa Spongebob. The FYD has been that thing for me. I’m not in love with it, but it’s the most constant thing there is. We have dates every Sunday and Wednesday. And I’m a great girlfriend. I never cancel (fine, I only cancelled once, but rescheduled for Monday) and I even kept the relationship going long distance when I was out of the country for two weeks. I didn’t realize how people come and go in life until I had something that stayed for as long as I wanted it to. Perhaps this is also because a lot of people came and went this year. That’s ok, though.

This is my last post for 2013. For some reason, I feel like I need to make it a big deal. There are two parts to New Year’s Eve: what goes on internally, and what goes on externally. Everyone loves the partying and the dressing up and the kissing. And if you so choose, you can live that to its fullest. But the internal part only happens to some people. It happens to the dramatic people like me, people who like making lists and having fresh starts even though when you wake up on January 1st, you don’t feel so fresh and you’re still the same person you were the night before. My mom tells me that things get different as you get older. Birthdays aren’t as exciting (or, people don’t give as much of a shit about you); Christmas isn’t so magical. Life is kind of different, too. 

A lot has happened in the past year. Sometimes, I wish I was a Kardashian just so I could have gotten it all on tape. Unfortunately I’m too poor and not nearly beautiful enough for that, so I was forced to discreetly scribble conversations and important moments on my iPhone notepad so I wouldn’t forget a thing. I get criticism for writing about opinions that clash with other people’s, or sharing personal stories that others prefer not be shared. I’ve been told I’m a tad bitchy or rude. I’ve also been told to “build a bridge and get over it.” I’ve received my fair share of “go f*** youreself” and other lovely, lovely words. But I’ve also been told I’ve made people smile and laugh. I’ve been thanked for saying things other people hadn’t, and commended for being so open about some of the things others would rather lock away like an old pair of boot cut jeans.

I learned a very important lesson over the last year: life happens, and if whatever happens is important, I should write about it. I write about what is important to me. If I don’t write about something, then I’m going to forget it. No matter how shitty something is, I don’t want to forget it because it’s a lesson and a blessing and it takes me somewhere else. I call them The Fro-Yo Diaries for a reason. Duh.

Recently, I’ve been having this huge problem where I either can’t sleep at all or I can’t stop sleeping. My insomnia is brought on by this mental and infinite to-do list that keeps running through my mind. But I don’t really want to do any of it at all, and so instead, I sleep because I feel bad just being awake. I sleep all day sometimes. Some nights, I don’t sleep at all.

If you were to ask me this second what my New Year’s resolutions were, I would tell you that I don’t have a frickin’ clue. If you asked me three years ago what my resolutions for that upcoming year were, I’d have the list memorized and edited for grammatical errors. I’ve changed a lot, but that probably isn’t a bad thing. Maybe while I’m awake, I’ll give it a good thought.

Happy New Year’s.
Love,
Hannah


Flavor of the Week: Eating Stuff Out Of The Jar

I decided to get creative. Instead of blurring out the photo, I “anonymified” it. As I sit at my computer screen, hysterically laughing at this devious creation (thank you photo editing apps), I can’t help but recall when this photo was taken: four days before I broke up with my boyfriend. We went into the city for a night, and all I kept saying was that I wanted to buy a pint of Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ben & Jerry’s and eat out of it with a spoon. Needless to say, we bought the pint at 2 a.m., shared a sparse amount (whatever I was willing to give up) with some friends, and finished the entire thing. Therefore, I can scientifically prove to you that eating stuff out of the jar is a comfort, easing some of the most difficult curveballs life throws our way.

My first instinct was to write about Nutella. But honestly, what am I going to tell you about Nutella that you don’t already know? Nutella and the young woman are inseparable. We rely on Nutella like we rely on tampons. To put it bluntly, they just soak everything up.

If you’re happy, you might celebrate with a thing of Nutella. If you’re high as hell sad, you’ll head right for the Nutella. But in reality, it isn’t the hazelnut that gives you a sense of satisfaction. It’s eating shit right out of the jar that does.

For being obsessed with being skinny, we seem to let all f**** go when a jar of something yummy comes our way. Ben & Jerry’s just isn’t the same in a cup or a cone or a bowl. It’s only great out of the tub. Bethenny Frankel says that “naturally thin” people never eat stuff out of the jar. You end up eating without thinking, eating too much, and getting fat, and dying alone. Or, god forbid, you might decrease the size of your thigh gap. We all know that a decreased thigh gap is only good for catching crumbs of food as they fall on the way to your mouth. So not worth it.

In honor of the food coma that Christmas instills in all people–if you aren’t eating a ham right now, then you’re definitely going ham on kosher Chinese food–it’s important to come to terms with the fact that we love eating shit out of the jar. I spend most of my weeknights on the floor on my room sticking my fingers in a jar of Justin’s almond butter with my best friend. We love getting dirty with some Nutella, ice cream, almond butter, and obviously peanut butter (the indulgent version of almond butter). Eating out of the jar, for most girls with ridiculous body image issues, is the closest you’ll ever get to going skydiving or something like that. Risky as hell. Living life on the edge. Not counting calories for a slim (or not so slim) second.

On a day like today when I’m having serious trouble coping with my own #fatgirlproblems, I’m going to give you shitty advice: eat out of the jar. But keeping “thin” in mind, maybe only have a few bites. Also, remember that committing to not eating out of the jar is, by association, committing to not taking swigs out of the bottle. Now that is a bond I’m not sure any of us are ready to break.


On The Selfie

selfie of me with popcorn

selfie of me with popcorn

Oxford Dictionary named it 2013’s word of the year. I name it the word of the f****** century. It’s about time I covered the selfie–a bit of life that unintentionally has grown to define a generation.

If we are two things, it is communicative and narcissistic. Combine these concepts and the selfie is born. In 2006, Apple released the first MacBook installed with iSight. In 2010 the iPhone 4 came out with two cameras–one front facing–and a year later the iPad 2 was produced with the same camera model. In 2007, my mom decided she wanted to start taking what would eventually be given the name “selfies” with her Nikon digital camera (these were the days before DSLRs) and claimed that one day, she would publish a book of photos titled “At An Arm’s Length.” And now, as we near the end of 2013, the selfie has become a socially acceptable reason to make an odd face while staring longingly into your iPhone camera. Oh, onlookers think, it’s just a selfie.

selfie of feminism, power women, and all things great about life

selfie of feminism, power women, and all things great about life

We love the selfie so much that we decided to make it transportable. At one point, we were satisfied with opening an application on our laptops and having the ability to give ourselves a good “check out” in the middle of class or while trying to get shit done at Starbucks. But Photobooth wasn’t enough. We needed to look at ourselves on our tablets; on our phones. Suddenly, everything became a mirror with which we could capture moments of life we wanted to keep forever (or until your iPhone lays itself to rest).

Selfie etiquette is a whole other topic in itself, but I suppose I can squeeze in a quick summary… don’t mupload solo selfies–you aren’t Kendall Jenner. Make sure your albums are a solid and equal combination of selfie and regular pics. Make the selfie comical and cute. Emphasize the skinny arm. Document crucial events with the selfie.

Example: selfie of the time my friend vomited in the back of a cab and I sat shotgun because I didn't want to deal with it

Example: selfie of the time my friend vomited in the back of a cab and I sat shotgun because I didn’t want to deal with it

I love the selfie more than I love a good Free People sale. Does this make me obsessed with myself? I’m not sure. My mom says I think I’m a princess, which is half true, but I don’t know if I’d go far enough to say I’m obsessed with myself. I don’t know if I’d go far enough to say that all of the people who take selfies are obsessed with themselves, either. Samsung says that 30% of photos taken by people between the ages of 18 and 35 are selfies. 75% of “normal weight” women say they constantly think about their weight and appearance. So why do the statistics say we’re self-loving when it seems like we’re in an era of incredible self-loathing?

The link between body image issues and selfies exists but is almost as incomprehensible as the Bound 2 music video. I’d like to propose a new angle on selfies: maybe they’re a good thing. Maybe we should let ourselves soak in the good lighting and flattering effects that iOS 7 provides (bitches love chrome). Maybe getting a good look at ourselves in the mirror–making ourselves look Instagram-worthy or mupload material–could help to battle this self esteem. It may be a good thing to get a look at ourselves from the shoulders up. Maybe this post is heavily influenced by the intense food coma I’m suffering right now. Maybe the diet starts tomorrow. Maybe tonight I’ll take a really great selfie and feel better about myself.

Maybe we should just let the selfie be.

Image via


Flavor of the Week: An FYD Christmas List

(elF)YD

ELF-YD

Dear Santa,

I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering why a nice Jewish girl like me would be writing to you, asking for gifts on a holiday that doesn’t even belong to the chosen people. Well, Santa, it turns out I had a rough year. It was also a great year–don’t get me wrong–but I would venture to say there were times where I, usually a hard headed independent woman that don’t need no man, boarded the struggle bus. I think I deserve a present or two. On that note, I want to introduce to you the Jewish concept of mitzvah–a worthy deed. You would really be doing a mitzvah by helping your marginalized friend (a.k.a. me) out. If I were you getting me a gift, here’s what I would just hypothetically get for myself. If you were my boyfriend or my family member or a good friend getting me a present for the holidays, still totally in theory, Santa, I would also recommend anything on this list. Santa, I think this will be a great role playing game for you. I feel like you’re really going to get to know me.

  • Tickets to the Beyoncé concert at Barclay’s, either of the nights. (I’m not very picky, Santa. But I would prefer GA seats, if you were wondering.)
  • A tobi.com gift card! JK LOL, do not get me this. Seriously, don’t.
  • But feel free to get me a Free People one.
  • An iTunes gift card, because I’m poor and like music.
  • Some makeup, because I’m really ugly and need it. Pity me.
  • An unlimited supply of zero calorie fruity drinks, preferably carbonated ones.
  • A new iPhone. Mine is literally degenerated (the selfie camera is really bad quality).
  • This phone case. Make sure you get the size that fits my new iPhone (mentioned above).

  • A new Facebook profile pic. Mine is getting really old. Can we arrange an artsy photo shoot with the Nikon you got for your Bar Mitzvah? Oh, shit… I forgot you didn’t… um… sorry, Santa.
  • A book deal.
  • The opportunity to babysit Nori West.

Merry Christmas! (Or, as one of my favorite TV characters, Schmidt from New Girl, likes to call it, “White Anglo Saxon Winter Privilege Night.”)

Love, your biggest non-gentile fan,
Hannah

p.s. Here’s one more for the road:

elfyd2


On Kissing

It’s believed that many years ago, mothers would chew food for their infant children and pass it to them via mouth-to-mouth contact. This ritual was not just built to establish family; it was not just to say “I am the mother and you are the child.” It was a necessity of life. It was something, while endearing, humans could not live without.

Today, we kiss not because we need it. Or, perhaps, we kiss because we do. But when I linger on the idea of mouth touching mouth, lip biting lip, I find it to be a strange concept regardless of its origin. Kissing is, in part, something we do because we’re told to. From a young age, we were drilled with the idea that all could be fixed with a simple solution of true love’s kiss. Kissing can wake up an unconscious princess, therefore, it must be able to alleviate all of my much more peasantly problems, right? But regardless of fairytale and fiction, why does something as simple as the connection of two orifices give us a euphoric feeling we wouldn’t experience otherwise?

Philematologists (the formal word for a kissing scientist) have come to the conclusion that we keep on kissing because of chemistry. Kissing releases chemicals and hormones in your body that trigger feelings in your brain. It helps us to judge how interested we are in somebody. I know you know what I’m talking about when I say that you can feel the difference between a kiss that means nothing–it just doesn’t do it for you–and a kiss that gives you that feeling. And, after all, kissing is (almost) as intertwined with someone else as you will ever be.

When I was younger, my grandma and I had a joint obsession with The Princess Diaries. We were convinced we were the nonfiction Jewish version of Princess Mia and Queen Clarisse (a.k.a. “Grandma”). Through my freshman year of high school, I would have sleepovers with my grandma once every month or so and we would alternate between watching the first movie and the second while eating frozen Cool Whip out of the container. We knew every word, every scene, every sound. I also had every book in the series–all sixteen of them. To most, Mia is known for her trademarked idea of the “foot-popping kiss.”

Dear Boyfriend, take note, thanks

Dear Boyfriend, take note, thanks

“You know, in the old movies whenever a girl would get seriously kissed, her foot would just kind of… pop.” My grandma and I watched each month as Mia figured out her true love via test of the foot pop over and over again. This was my exposure to sex and romance–watching a Disney-produced film with my grandma, who once wore white evening gloves on a day trip to the zoo with my grandpa.

One night, my grandma and I decided to sway from our routine. We rented The Kids Are All Right, now one of my favorite films, starring Annette Bening and Julianne Moore as a lesbian couple whose teenaged children meet their sperm donor father. In a scene, Bening and Moore attempt to spice up their sex life by watching gay porn. Consequentially, this scene was graphically displayed on my grandmother’s oversized plasma screen television.

I had never seen my grandma cringe the way she did. Though we also shared a love of forward thinking girl power, I was primarily her Princess Mia, not her gay porn advocate.

“It’s okay,” I told her. “It’s nothing I haven’t seen before.”

Though I was getting older and more “aware,” I was still big on the foot-popping kiss. My friends starting kissing boys in the sixth grade. Though I had my fair share of opportunities–and by opportunities, I mean boys leaning in and me literally running away–I waited so that my first kiss would be perfect. I wanted it to be memorable so that one day, I could look back at the five minutes of my life I was closest to becoming a princess. My first kiss was a foot-popper. And, of course, I told my grandma about it the next time I saw her.

I understand why we touch each other. I understand snuggling, cuddling, sleeping together, even holding hands. Part of me still finds it strange that we have a compulsion to kiss. When you see someone you love, you want to kiss them hello, you want to kiss them goodbye, and you want to kiss them every second in between. I know I want my lips on someone else’s, but I’m not sure why.

To Mia Thermopolis, a good kiss is foot-popping. To Romeo and Juliet, a kiss is a prayer and a sin sweetly purged. And to me, it’s something I’m still trying to figure out (with practice, of course).

Images via, via.


Flavor of the Week: The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

victoria's secret fashion show

Because it clearly doesn’t receive enough media attention as it is, right?

The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is the one time a year girls decide to work out for like, a solid week. Then we remember that it’s winter and we’re actually in hibernation so jk lol we aren’t going to work out. But if the fashion show happened during March, perhaps, we would definitely all continue to do an impressive 20 jumping jacks and 10 sit-ups before bed. Right? Right.

The fashion show was an exciting time for me until I watched The Social Network and learned that the founder of VS committed suicide because he thought that his company, which now produces bras with a greater value than my house, would fail. Now it’s just depressing. It’s especially depressing because it also pulls a trigger that causes thousands of teenaged (and not-so teenaged) girls struggling with body image to give a public cry for help. The fashion show prompts the immediate overload of a Facebook estrogen presence. “Why don’t I look like that?” (which usually looks more like “y dont i looookkk likkkeee thttt ughh fml :/”) along with a million other self-hating statuses go up for the world to see. This year, it was ALL about the cover photo switch to a feature of the models wearing bras made out of gold and other flakey metals.

The fashion show is an interesting concept–yes, these models are not “typical” or “accurate” representations of women, but should it get to the point where we cannot handle watching them? A while ago I wrote about the controversy of plus-sized models. It turns out there’s just as much controversy about coke-thin models. You shouldn’t be at a point where you can’t bear to watch the show because it makes you feel shitty about who you are. At the same time, you also shouldn’t watch the show and obsess about these women as body role models you strive to become.

If the show does get you down, which is totally normal, think about these things:

1. BOYS LIKE BUTTS. I promise.

2. If you don’t have a butt, boys will still like you. BECAUSE BOYS LIKE GIRLS WITH ACTUAL PERSONALITIES. AND BOOBS. (just kidding) (well, kinda kidding)

3. Buy yourself an overpriced ridiculously bedazzled push up bra. No, not because boys like boobs. Buy one so that you can walk up to one of the models and say, “OMG, twinsies!!!!!!!” or “GET ON MY LEVEL, BITCH.” I’m a personal fan of option two.

Image via


On What Guys Really Think About What We Really Think

For the past year, I’ve been trying to learn through The FYD. I want to bring up things we accept as normal into question. I wonder why we, as millennials, do the things we do. But eventually, I’ve come to realize and accept that I can write for a thousand years and still never completely understand one thing: the mind of a guy. Tons of magazines, websites, and publications with a female-targeted audience have columns written by men to try and help women figure out what really goes on behind the six packs, the sideburns, and the sex. However, I still feel like “Jared, a college student from Florida!” or “Brian, in his second year of law school!” just aren’t doing it for me. I don’t know Jared, I don’t know Brian, and what both of them (along with the hundreds of other guys who write for girls) state in their pieces is typically predictable. 

Enter a new flavor of The Fro-Yo Diairies: “Douche de Leche,” a segment featuring pieces for girls to gape at and guys to laugh at written by some of my closest male friends, almost completely uncensored. I’m not telling them what to say (though I will edit for grammatical errors, obviously I’m too type-A to let that slide) and I’m not telling them how to say it. 

douche de leche

Now, I present to you, the first installment of Douche de Leche… enjoy. 

Women always think men have these “thoughts” about them. But when I take a step back, the first thing I think about women is the ridiculousness of what they think I’m thinking. Here’s a list of things I find hilarious about women and their most common misconceptions:

1. GIRLS & THEIR HAIR When girls think guys care about their hair. I’m twisted already, do you really think I’m gonna give a shit if your hair is in front of your shoulders or behind? Just don’t shave that shit and it’s all good.

2. GIRLS & DANCING When a girl thinks a guy thinks it’s all good if she doesn’t know how to dance. Guys rage with their homies and raging is fun. But then when I’m dancing, I’m trying to get with you, and it’s just a huge bust if you can’t dance. A shitty dancer and a rager is probably the worst recipe known to mankind.

3. GIRLS BEING FUNNY Girls think that they need to be hilarious for guys to want to be around them. You know, I’d love a funny girl, but you know what I hate? A not funny girl who tries to be funny. If a girl cracks a joke and it’s hilarious, then they probably are amazing. On the other hand, if she makes the joke in the center of a circle that was expecting a funny joke, all she did was let me down. My night is practically ruined. If she didn’t pay for my cab home, I’d take a dump on her doorstep.

4. GIRLS PLAYING HARD TO GET Girls always seem to run into this debate of whether they should play hard to get, or be just be slutty and get the deed done. On a serious note, life is going to put you in your place, so just be yourself. You’re going to find someone who, whatever you’re doing, can’t help but come over to you. To all the ladies that don’t think they will: just be patient. There are so many late night snacks made just for you to substitute for a shitty night. Sooner or later you’ll hit the jackpot, and if you don’t, just move out of the country. They have places like Kyrgyzstan for that.

5. GIRLS EATING Girls always seem to stuff their faces either when they’re tripping balls or they’re in a comfortable sober state. Whatever it is, food goes down your throat and to your stomach (and elsewhere). It’s not too visible to us if you overdose on dinner, but it’s definitely enough for you to feel it and then start getting self-conscious. Self-consciousness is like bacon–you smell it from all the way upstairs. Except self-consciousness is like a pure, fatty, nasty ass piece of bacon I’d never eat. Before you go out, either start feeling good about yourself (because you probably look great), or don’t go out at all if it’ll only make you feel worse.

6. GIRLS & FACEBOOK Girls and Facebook, holy mother****** shit. If there was one thing that really couldn’t matter in this world, its whether you give the kiss face or the other face that definitely doesn’t have a name. Look, if you want to know the truth, the profile pictures are where we’re looking. If guys wanna show someone this hot girl, they don’t say, “Dude, let me show you the 3,000,000 pictures this girl is tagged in.” Instead, it’s more like, “Let me see the most beautiful pictures she has,” which are usually the profile pictures. So ladies, just relax. Your night isn’t over if you take one picture where it looks like you just got punched in the face. It’s all good, don’t worry. Seriously, it’s all good.

Afterward: The author of this piece was very excited to be featured on The FYD and wanted me to share this–I love you all, everybody that reads this, I can’t explain over the internet, but just know that I really do love you all. In other news, guys are insane