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.”
“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).
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.
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.
You may have seen it, you may not have, but Joe Jonas spilled all of his dirty little secrets in a killer essay published in New York Magazine. With all of the hubbub surrounding Mr. Jonas and his artsy choice of facial hair, I thought it would be nice to throw it back to the Jonas Brothers. At one point or another, you loved them.
They had such an interesting family dynamic. You had Nick, who was the cutest and the youngest. He seemed like a wise, old soul who was inevitably the brains behind the operation. There was Joe, who was absolutely gorgeous but lacked a certain depth I was really seeking out in a teenaged male pop star to fall in love with. Then there was Kevin. Ah, Kevin. He smiled with his mouth closed a lot, nodded his head often, and wasn’t… well… hot. And I respected him for that. I’m not going to say he was my favorite Jonas just because that would be the alternative thing to do, because he wasn’t. But he seemed like a genuinely nice guy.
I was never obsessed with the Jonas Brothers nor was I ever obsessed with any boy band. I think that ability to obsesses is either something you have in your system, or you something you don’t. Every girl I know that was obsessed with the Jonas Brothers had also been obsessed with a million other Disney stars at some point in her life. And when I say obsessed, I mean obsessed. I try to understand how someone else’s life can be that interesting. Why is it that we attach ourselves to people we’ll never really know? There are the obvious excuses–we’re bored, we don’t like ourselves, we don’t like the lives we choose to lead, etc. I feel like there must be something bigger than that, though. Human fascination with other humans is just as troubling as human fascination with crazy things like aliens and killer whales… and the Jonas Brothers.
When the JoBros broke up, they had already fizzled out. While it was sad to the die-hards in my generation, it didn’t mean much to society. They had their peak, they did their thing. And let me tell you, Joe Jonas went out as gracefully as ever. Though his piece is long, it’s worth reading every word. He’s brutally honest in a way that sort-of shattered my view of the Disney star and sort-of was exactly what I needed to hear. As I submerged myself in his words about losing his virginity (but what about the promise rings?????!!!!!) and smoking weed with Miley (every current teenager’s dream come true), I realized that along with Joe Jonas, a chapter of my life had also closed. He’s growing up, and we are too. Farewell, JoBros.
I have always wanted to be a guru of something. I’ve attempted many times, going through a guru of Polly Pockets phrase, guru of Dalmatians phase (don’t ask), guru of tye dye Soffe shorts phase, guru of anxiety phase, and even a guru of haiku phase. I finally feel like I’m a guru of something, though it’s something I neither imagined I would be a guru of nor one I ever wanted to be. Unfortunately, I am a guru at long distance relationships.
Being a guru of long distance relationships is really tough work. Ideally, I would have an ashram located in a TriBeCa loft space where teenaged girls wearing a strict uniform of bare feet, Lulu Lemon leggings, and vintage Grateful Dead t-shirts would come with the two most essential things in life (tissues and yoga mats). Then, we would sit in prayer circles and I would offer words of wisdom about topics like “She’s Not Just His Best Friend, She Wants His D,” “Obsessive Facebook Stalking Is A Disease,” and “Don’t Let Him Manipulate You, You Got This In The Bag Girlfriend!” Of course, I can’t afford the ashram just yet so for now I have a small group of Instagram followers that had a mild infatuation with my fairytale-esque relationship while it still existed.
I was in a full fledged LDR for seven months. Then, like everything else eventually does, it ended. Because of my obsession with cynical millennial-oriented thought-piece websites, I’ve read tons and tons of posts about LDRs. To my surprise, they seem to be a really popular topic. This is probably because writers like to tell the world about their failures in love. Clearly, it provides good material. I’ve read pro-LDR pieces and anti-ones. To be honest, most of them say that these relationships aren’t worth it. To be even more honest, I have to agree.
There is a strong argument in favor of long distance relationships: if you really “love” one person, and if you see a potential future with that person, then distance shouldn’t change the way you feel about them. But I didn’t stop loving my boyfriend because he was far away. Things changed because we did, and we changed because we are human. He probably claims I changed because I’m a bitch, but whatever.
I’m not anti-long distance, don’t get me wrong. If you can do it, then you should. But there is a serious problem in long distance relationships and it’s that people forget to put themselves first. Call me selfish, sure. But your relationship shouldn’t turn into an extracurricular activity. You need to do you. You can also do each other, but you primarily need to do you.
People keep writing about the crucial parts of a long distance relationship–talking every day, trusting each other. They say that when a long distance relationship fails, it’s because you’re missing one of these ingredients as if your love life can be written down in a cookbook and made by following a recipe. All of these cliché writers are neglecting to highlight happiness. LDRs have a tendency to break someone’s heart in half and then hold one piece hostage a thousand miles away. You deserve to have your whole heart, all of the time. You deserve to have you. My LDR didn’t end because I couldn’t deal with the four hour bus ride or because I wanted to be with other people. It was because I needed to have myself and my whole self to do what I wanted. We deserve to feel OK by ourselves because we’re fucking awesome.
Recently, my ex-boyfriend gave me a digital shout out, so I thought that it would only be fair to return the gesture. There was a lot of talk about my break up. Haters gonna hate, but what it comes down to is that my long distance relationship just didn’t work.
On long distance relationships, in summary: life is going to happen, so maybe we should let it.
Recently, I’ve read a lot of online articles about chivalry. Some argue it’s dead, others argue it isn’t, and many say women are, in fact, the ones who’ve killed it. As someone who believes that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities (and not as someone who doesn’t shave my legs, because I do, or as someone who is an unhygienic man-hater, which I am also not), I consider myself a feminist. But as someone who manipulated her first kiss so that it would be under a streetlight on New Year’s Eve, I also believe in classic romance and knight-in-shining-armor happy endings. Something I’ve struggled with all my life is figuring out where these two important and constant values find their balance.
Is it possible for me to be a feminist that believes in chivalry? Or am I, along with every other girl who was raised on a diet of Disney princess movies, the utmost contradiction?
First, I want to address the claim that chivalry is dead, because it definitely isn’t. It might be hard to find them, but guys who won’t let you open your own car door and pay for all of your meals still exist… they’re just really hard to find. We’re also at the age where girls aren’t looking for someone who is as chivalrous as he is attractive or as he is fun. And if we aren’t demanding it, guys aren’t going to go out of their way to do it. If we give ourselves to them and they don’t need to put in the effort to woo us, then why would they? It makes sense. Perhaps your guy is more chivalrous than you might think… he just hasn’t found his armor yet. He’s been too focused on riding the horse (haha).
When we get older and boys realize that we are god’s gift to planet earth, as we obviously are, maybe things will change. Chances are, actually, they will.
Chivalry is not necessarily degrading to women if it is done right. When it started, it was about the strength of men in comparison to that of women, displaying the qualities they have that we physically do not. I am definitely on the liberal side of most, if not all, social issues. Like, basically 100%. But it bothers me when feminists try to define themselves as feminists by saying that women are just as strong as men, or just as capable of carrying a 50 pound package from the mail room as a man would be. In truth, we are not. It’s simply not how we’re built. Men are made to be stronger, and that is a fact that, upon admittance, does not make me a bad feminist. It makes me someone that doesn’t ignore certain truths that some who refer to themselves as “feminists” often do. He isn’t holding a door open for you because he thinks you can’t do it yourself. He’s holding it open because, historically, and truthfully, it’s probably easier for him to do. Not a big deal.
However, the issue of paying for a woman is something completely different. My ex-boyfriend never let me pay for a single thing, ever. Rarely–and by “rarely” I mean once every couple of months–I was allowed to pay tip at a restaurant, and that was it. Concert tickets were split evenly–the only rule we agreed on. Of course, it’s nice to have someone pay for all of your shit. If one of my girlfriends paid for everything, it would be just as nice. But, in theory, he was making no more money than I was. We were both teenagers using our parents’ credit cards.
Once I started working, my views about this changed. Now, I don’t let guys pay for me. OK, fine, once in a while, I do. But I never let it happen unless I put up a real fight. Sometimes, guys are relentless. I think we have to realize that they aren’t trying to be degrading, and they aren’t trying to prove they are more powerful–fiscally or physically–than we are in any way, shape, or form. They’re just using a centuries-old tradition to show us that they’re worth it. Think of it this way: they feel like they have to prove something to you. They are men, not boys. Maybe we should take it as a compliment. Maybe I’m a shitty feminist. Thoughts?
When two people are interested in each other, they should be together. Right?
No, of course not.
Although that would make perfect sense, human interaction could never be that easy. Why not? Because if it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it. It wouldn’t be fun, it wouldn’t be exciting, and we would get bored even though we are in the ideal situation of mutual wanting. We’ve convinced ourselves that when we want someone too much, we don’t want them at all. If we wanted them at all, we would make them work.
Hence, the infinite game of “playing hard to get”: of making sure your friends don’t let you respond to that text message until 11:39pm and 46 seconds, of leaving the conversation in a terrifying cliffhanger by not answering the question “Did I tell you that I ran into ‘x’ today?” No you didn’t tell me, and I’m not going to risk my mysterious persona by allowing this conversation to get irrelevant and pointless. The beginning of a relationship is like writing a screenplay–every word has to have a significance. And if it doesn’t, then it isn’t worth saying.
I used to be and still am terrible at playing hard to get. It isn’t that I’m easy, and it isn’t that I’m a slut. In fact, I’m far from both of these things. Instead, I’m a premature yenta that can’t keep her mouth shut. I was born as a small fuzzy caterpillar waiting to turn into a social butterfly. (If you know my mom, you know exactly where I get this quality from). When I entered the fiery hell of high school girl world, I had trouble understanding how it wasn’t considered the rudest thing possible to play hard to get. I was confused about the bitchy aspects of the dating game; i.e., making a guy text you five times before responding, ignoring his physical existence unless he approaches you, and whatever else my American Girl book “All You Need To Know About Boys a.k.a. How To Get Guys With As Little Sluttiness As Possible” told me to do.
My fears were all legitimate. What if he thinks I died? What if I seem so rude that he’s not going to like me at all anymore? What if he thinks I’m not who he thought I was? Eventually, I became so frazzled that my friends would have to deal with my relationships for me. Every text I received was treated amongst my friends like a table read of Girls.
I eventually realized that I’m not the only one with hard-to-get/how-to-text anxieties. Last week I was snuggled up in bed with my teddy bear, blankie, retainers, and sleep mask. Click here if you want a nice image of what that looks like. As I was falling asleep, someone BURSTED through my door (which I obviously forgot to lock) and jumped on my bed. My first thought was that I was being recruited by Agent Cody Banks and the CIA. Momentarily, I came to my senses and realized that it was one of my best friends. She got a text message: “Hey, what’s up?” Then, the conniption fit initiated. Pretty standard.
My mom was keen at enforcing that I should play hard to get since I was in middle school. He should have to come to your house, she would say. Make him work for you. Originally, I thought that she was crazy. But now, I think she changed me for the better. I feel like I value myself (sexually) more than most of the girls I know do… even more than some of my feminist friends do. Impressive, right? I think that although I feel guilty ignoring a text, or making someone who wants me on the bottom of my priority list, it’s all in good reason. If we don’t make someone–anyone–work to get us, then we ultimately give ourselves less value. Sure, anyone’s daddy can buy him a LandRover. But your daddy will never be able to buy you love from a nice Jewish girl like me.
I used to be terrified of a few things: vomit, roller coasters, and PDA. This is something that most girls have in common. My fears were not of miscellaneous fruits or animals; they were reasonable. But with the passing of time, I don’t know if my fears would stand as “acceptable.” Yes, girls are probably still shuddering at the sight of bodily fluids. Some, like me, will never be too fond of adventure parks, either. PDA is a different story. The girls today don’t give two shits, and I’ll tell you why.
First, let me give some backstory. My freshman year of high school brought a lot of new and exciting changes. My boobs kept growing even after I thought they had stopped, and I was finally getting back into my normal routine of having a panic attack a day. It was really great. It was also the year that I would be start going to school with my first “real” boyfriend. Going to school with your boyfriend for the first time is like having a co-ed sleepover party in the first grade. It isn’t like anything is going to actually happen out of the ordinary, but because you’re in the same vicinity your mind plays a dirty little trick on you that it will. Every day had the opportunity for something amazing and wonderful to happen because I was “young” and “in love” and I was also, like, fourteen.
For him, there was no secret fantasy hiding in the janitor’s closet or the handicap stall of the second floor girl’s bathroom. It was much simpler than that–we were in school together, so when he saw me in the hallway, or when he walked me to class, he was going to hold my hand.
Hence, World War III commenced.
For some reason, I was OK with wishing that one day my boyfriend would get the school marching band to surprise me with a rendition of Weezer’s “Island in the Sun,” but I was not OK with any public displays of affection (for newbies out there, public display of affection = PDA). It wasn’t even that I was embarrassed to have a boyfriend. I was far from embarrassed. I felt like the luckiest girl in the whole school. For a reason I am still not totally aware of, I was terrified of any touching, hugging, kissing, groping, lap-sitting, etc. etc. in front of anyone else.
The two of us would get into bitter arguments over PDA. Why was it such a big deal for me to hold his hand? Why couldn’t we hug before class? Not even a kiss on the cheek? My defense was simple: no one needed to see it. I was always very prude and in the stubbornest of ways. I had heard so many people go off about how disgusting it is to see couples being mushy in the halls. I had even been blockaded from my locker many a time (a common occurrence at my high school) by couples going at it up against the wall.
My literal fear of PDA got so bad that my mom eventually had to say something to me about it. “You’re so cold towards [insert ex’s name here haha lol]. Why don’t you just be a little warmer? One day you’re gonna push him so far away that he’s not going to come back.” Since Mama always knows best, especially when she’s Jewish Yenta Mama, I took her advice to the best of my ability. Slowly, I eased by way into the nauseating hand-holding and the awkward-feeling-but-looks-cute arm around the waist. “See?” I would say to my boyfriend. “Look how good I’m doing!” You’d think I was going through psychotherapy (not to say I wasn’t, anyway) or that maybe he was teaching me how to ride a bicycle (not that he didn’t, either) by the way we would speak about it.
But enough about me. Let’s talk about the biddies in their prime–they can still eat whatever they want, they can still solely rely on Mommy and Daddy’s ca$h flow, they’re still naive enough to believe that a quadruple date with four senior guys isn’t just a quadruple booty call–and how these days, they are lovin’ themselves some PDA. Let me go back to where I started. Why do they love PDA? Obviously, I’m going to blame this on social media. Haha duh.
When I was a freshman in high school, I had a Facebook. But social media was not nearly as much of a “thing” then as it was now. My freshman year was when people learned how to put photos onto Facebook from their Blackberries (freshman now don’t even know what a Blackberry is) that were filtered into an album automatically titled “Mobile Uploads.” And just like that, my fave vocab word of all time–mupload, obv–was born into creation.
Now, there is no way to put photos on Facebook aside from through your iPhone… or at least that’s how we make it look. Facebook and its critical importance in the everyday life of a teenaged girl has built up PDA to become a normal thing. Everyone sees everything you do because there’s a mupload of you doing it already on Facebook. I’ve seen you hooking up, I’ve seen you grinding, I’ve seen you holding each other’s hair back, and I’ve seen you sitting on the toilet. So, you might as well go ahead and hold hands in the hallways. You might as well.
The weirdest thing is this: after a few years of high school, I started feeling a compulsion to chronicle my relationships on Facebook. Simultaneously, I found myself feeling more and more comfortable with a quick kiss or a hand-hold. Just some food for thought…
On the bright side of things, in case you were wondering, I’m totally over my phobia of PDA. Vomit… not so much.