years of some deliberation, I’ve decided it’s pretty much impossible to “be” a girl.
I can start off by talking about the sexual double standard (thank you, sociology prof): the idea that the same action is perceived by the general public completely differently depending on if it was executed by a male or by a female. A guy sleeps around with a lot of girls, his friends applaud. A girl does that, and other girls think she’s disgusting; everyone is well versed in this example. The constant complaint of amateur feminism revolves around the idea of the “slut.”
A girl can be a slut, and not only will guys get with her, but they’ll get with her because of it. They won’t love her and they won’t want to date her. But she’s a dime, right? A guy can be a slut, and girls will be both a-ware and war-y of it. But will they still get with him? Probably. If a man whore wanted to take a girl out, would she hesitate to say yes? No. But let’s be real here: would a guy ask a slut out if he knows she’ll be an easy bang in the first place? Never.
The unrealistic expectations don’t end here. The next topic I’d like to elaborate on is my personal favorite: fashion. We’re supposed to dress “trendy.” And right now, trendy looks a lot like all black, vintage t-shirts, ghetto-fab, rocker-chick-ish, but also polished, put together, and expensive. Naturally, I would take this advice and walk around in ripped boyfriend jeans and a small t-shirt with my black high top Converse 24/7. And, naturally, I do. But most of the time I lack the element of “hot.” It takes one helluva effort to find the perfect mix of Kurt Cobain circa 1992–though most girls who strive for “trendy” have no idea that the MTV Unplugged in New York album even exists–and maybe, like, Kendall Jenner or something. We’ve gotta dress like a tomboy, but in crop tops and skinny jeans. Um, what?
We could never forget the bod. We can’t be too skinny, because then guys won’t like us. But we have to be fit; toned. We have to have some curves in some places–the right places–but not too many. We also have to love food, because we all are striving to be Hilary Duff in A Cinderella Story when she chooses the Big Mac over the rice cake. Besides, Chad Michael Murray likes a girl with a hearty appetite. But then this happens…
…and we all are, like, well, sorry not sorry you’re always too busy talking to the girls who eat the rice cakes.
Do you see our dilemma now? If we eat whatever we want but don’t look like a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, then it’s gross. But if we eat whatever we want and still look like Lindsay Lohan pre-rehab, then we’re in the clear.
In the end, it’s all about making it seem like we care and we also don’t care at all. I probably look like I was dressed by a blind person four out of seven days a week. But guess what? I spent forty minutes picking out that outfit in my hot pink fuzzy robe. #Appreciate. It relates to the fact that we ignore your texts for an hour but, to no surprise, were staring at your little “typing” bubble the entire time. Do ya notice the pattern yet?
The fact that perfection consists of so many things makes perfection itself impossible. If perfection wants to really exist, then it should just be one thing that you can hold, or pet, or grab, or something, and when you have it you know exactly what it is and how it feels and what it looks like and then you can just be happy.
I could be wrong. Maybe instead, perfection should change for us. In reality, HA HA. Unfortunately, we know that perfection can never change. There will always be an idea of what we have to do, what we should look like, and who we have to be that exists in girl world. But since it’s so unattainable, then why the hell am I wasting time trying to convince myself to wear normal jeans?
Everyone loves to just walk around saying “Ugh, I’m literally so stressed out right now.” Stress is everywhere, embodied in every kvetching student, in every mother of three children, and in every girl who breathes. It is the symbol of our generation that thrives on espresso, that doesn’t really sleep at all, and that has to deal with the most competitive job market and higher education system in the world.
The worst thing about all of this isn’t even how suckish being stressed feels; it’s that everyone is stressed, so no one’s really stressed, and it’s become an acceptable and normal thing to constantly feel like you’re swimming in a kiddie pool with Tilikum (Tilikum, for those of you who are unaware, is the killer whale in the focus of my fav documentary, Blackfish).
Because I’ve been stressed out since I, as a wee newborn, witnessed my mother birth my placenta, I thought I could offer a few tips in dealing with stress.
Do: drink coffee. It’ll keep you going.
Don’t: talk to other people. Because you’re just going to take all of your stress out on them and then you’ll look like a bitch. Of course you probably are a bitch, but it’s best to hide that at all costs and whenever possible.
Also, don’t: talk to your boyfriend. He will inevitably piss you off.
Don’t: be around people who chew and/or breathe loudly. They will also piss you off. And distract you.
Do: yoga. Cliché, yes. But it’s a great way to kind-of work out and kind-of take a nap during shavasana.
Don’t: smoke a cigarette. No matter how cool you think they make you look, they just don’t. They also don’t actually make you less stressed. Post-boge, you still have an overwhelming amount of shit to do so it makes more sense to stop wasting time taking years off your life and instead just like, work!!!
Do, but also don’t: stress eat. Stress is great for binge eaters. If you say you’re stressed while eating a piece of cheesecake at 3pm (ya know, just an afternoon snack!) or while eating an alfredo pasta, pepperoni pizza, and a giant snickerdoodle cookie at 1am (a.k.a. me last Tuesday night #sorrynotsorry), then everyone is like “Oh, ok, you’re off the hook for not trying to mimic Kendall Jenner’s chopstick-like frame at this moment in time.” However, stressing can be a great way to be like “Ahhh my tummy is in such knots! I cannot seem to stomach a thing!” and shed a few pounds.
Do: go to bed early, and do something for yourself before you go to bed. I’m not saying go to sleep at 10pm, but don’t go to sleep at 2am. I usually work until 10:30ish, then whip off my bra immediately (remember, ladies: no bra, no problem), and then get in bed to watch an episode of Girls. Glass of wine, optional.
Though stress is the most chronic illness of ever, it is something that we can combat together. One last tip: cry. Cry a lot. But stay positive! You will get through this! (Ha. Ha. Ha.)
As women, we’re taught to say “no” to things like mean girls, scary men, and carbs. Obviously, some have more difficulty saying it than others. Just as obviously, I’m not one of the girls that does.
My seventh grade year consisted of 400 panic attacks–one daily, and the occasional two-a-day. Food, along with many other things, made me anxious. This is mostly because it is very hard to chew, swallow, and hyperventilate at the same time. I hated this; if there was one thing I wanted, it was to be able to go out to eat and not worry about not eating. My parents tried to ease my stresses by telling me that I never had to eat if I didn’t want to. If I was hungry, I should eat, and if I wasn’t hungry, I shouldn’t eat, and that was that. I would never have to make an excuse to anyone, and I should never feel bad about anything. This is my first recollection of learning how to say “no.”
A more relatable example may be that of the typical haircut. You’re sitting in the chair, and a woman who smells really good but also borderline like the depletion of the ozone layer by hairspray asks you how you want to get trimmed. A little face frame? A little side bangs? Some layers? OK! OK! OK! Suddenly your hair becomes this crazy thing that you have the ability to change however you want to. But you also know that the change isn’t permanent, so a risk wouldn’t hurt. It sounds like the perfect storm–and it usually is.
Suddenly, you look in the mirror and realize how closely you now resemble a poodle with hair that awkwardly falls RIGHT in the middle of your boobs (you all know what I’m talking about). You didn’t want your hair this short and you just asked for a trim, but here you are, looking like Slash. And couldn’t it all have been prevented with a little, “no”? With a little “that’s short enough, thank you and please stop killing the polar bears with your beauty products”?
I’m still kinda bad at directing my hair stylist, but other than that, I’ve gotten good at saying “no.”
It’s a Saturday night, and I’m having a heated conversation with a guy who told me to relax because I wouldn’t dance with him. I didn’t want to dance, I didn’t want to kiss him, and I didn’t want to lead him down either of these undesirable paths. At first, he playfully teased me for having a stick up my ass. But then the tone changed, and I found myself being reverse slut-shamed. I was being prude-shamed.
“Look,” I told him, “I just don’t want to go there. I just don’t want to kiss you.” And it was true–not a bone in my body wanted to. I liked him, but not enough to go there. Not enough to go anywhere, really.
Then, shit hit the fan. He penalized me for saying no, telling me that he read my blog and he knew what I was “all about.” Then, he went on to say that my expectations of men were unrealistic, that I thought I was Taylor Swift, that I needed to relax, that things would never work out in my favor if I continued to believe in love the way I did, and ended the argument with a really solid closer: “If you just peck me you might feel something that you don’t even know exists right now,” essentially dissing every aspect of my being and then trying again, after all of that, to get me to kiss him.
In the most unintentional way possible, he proved all my theories true; I’ve never been happier about saying “no.” He made me realize that when I act with my own opinions and beliefs in mind, I win. So yeah, I’m still going to be a “relationships-girl” and I’m still going to not want to kiss you unless I actually want to and I’m still going to have high expectations. Because I woke up this morning not feeling like a shithead, and isn’t that the goal?
To people like that, we say “sorry-not-sorry.”
As we’ve come to know too well, the times are a-changin’. What once was nice and traditional has now become outdated and prudish. Girls bare more skin at Bar Mitzvahs than I do on the beach. Hell, they don’t even wear dresses to Bar Mitzvahs anymore. Now, it’s all about the crop top and shorts combo. I commend the trend, but when I have a daughter of my own I’ll make sure she relies on other “in” pieces… like oversized turtlenecks, for example.
My grandparents met through a mutual friend. My grandfather called my grandmother, introduced himself, and asked if she would “marry [him] this afternoon.” It was classy. My grandma wore white gloves on their date to the zoo. I’m all about it.
My parents met in standards more era-appropriate–on a college street corner on Halloween. Later that night, my dad serenaded my mom by playing her righty guitar upside down (he was a lefty). Slightly more edgy, but as charming as ever, to say the least.
I thought I’d share some ways for you to tell your children in ten or fifteen years from now about how you really met their mother–likely a story neglect of white gloves, potentially containing a good serenade (but only if one of you was, like, on molly at a rave or something like that).
1. “We liked the same @JewBoyProblems tweet. Then, I stalked her on Twitter and she seemed like the perfect balance of Long Island and sleepaway camp-cool for me.”
2. “As soon as I found out that he was @JewBoyProblems, I knew Bubbe would approve.”
3. “So, son, there used to be this thing called Tinder…”
4. “We were both waiting on line at Juice Generation and she complimented me on my desert boots.”
5. “We didn’t go to the same co-ed camp, but we had socials…”
6. “She made a naked video of herself and somehow every thirteen-year-old in the Tri-State Area got a hold of it. I used it as a conversation starter when we met in college.”
7. “My mom was her SoulCycle instructor.”
8. “I know you wouldn’t think that the Boca West club pool could be a romantic spot, but…”
9. “I was ZBT, she was SDT, and the rest was history.”
10. “We were on the same Westcoast Connection Europe teen tour!” (Funny sidenote: I went to the Westcoast website to find a photo to pair with this, but I recognized too many of the kids in all of the promos and didn’t want to make them feel super awk when they heard their face was plastered across The FYD)
11. “I held her hair back for her at a tailgate. She thought I was the nicest guy in the world.”
12. “We had friends in common and I kept liking all of her #tbt’s.”
13. “I was standing behind her in line at Pinkberry and offered to pay for her fro-yo.” (My husband to my child)
“Douche de Leche” is a segment featuring pieces for girls to gape at and guys to laugh at, written by some of my closest male friends and (almost completely) uncensored. This post was written by someone who chooses to remain anonymous, though he claims the following:
Enjoy Anon’s piece about how men are basically animals.
Underneath the round, chest-height table there are no more barstools. I stand and look around for an open seat. The table to my left is crowded with a group of girls draped in variations of each other’s outfits. Just beyond them, a pack of boys stake their claim around another table. One popped-collar Polo-wearing member shifts his gaze from the table of girls, to the bartender, then the bouncer at the door, and, finally, back to the table. His friends seem hyper-aware of their postures, keen to keep their chests puffed out at least six inches from the tips of their chins at all times. But Polo Shirt didn’t get the memo. Hunched over, he’s occupied himself by scratching a key across the brown glazed tabletop. I test the surface with my fingernail.
Immediately, resin builds up under my nail. I can’t help but wonder how much damage he could cause with his metal utensil. He looks up again and this time I swear his nose scrunches as if there’s a threat to be smelled. While the bloodhound marks his territory, his friends have begun to engage in their own animal behaviors.
A smaller but more confident member of the boys’ group stands up from his casual lean atop the stool. He’s short and not particularly well built. I wonder how much his hair gel contributes to his total body weight. He smoothes a left paw through the bristly fur atop his head but it pops up like astroturf. His shirt, striped and untucked, doesn’t distinguish him much from the two others who stand and follow him. Together, they migrate over the the girls’ group.
“We go to Brown,” states the boy at the back of their triangular formation. He had leaned forward onto his toes as he spoke, and now rocks back with a smirk as if to punctuate the declaration. The girls put on their best looks of feigned admiration before one breaks the synchronized sarcasm.
She says dryly, “So do we.”
It’s even awkward from where I’m standing, ten feet away. The boy at the back turns his shoulders, ready to flee the scene, but catches himself in his moment of pussy-ness when his friends stand their ground. The smaller boy–with his shirt now partially tucked in–has set his sights on a brunette at the near edge of the girls’ table. He makes eye contact, distracting her–perhaps himself, too–from the embarrassment of his friend’s failed icebreaker. the other two boys try to salvage the situation with the larger group. Striped Shirt now seems removed from his friends.
His target–the brunette–leans in the slightest amount. He mirrors her action. She looks down at her boots and giggles, a restrained mimic of the full-throated chucked he lets out with his head cocked back. Only now does he notice that his friends, tending to their wounded pride, have moved back to more familiar territory. Stripe Shirt places his hand on the girl’s hip and whispers something in her ear. She looks back at her friends before standing and following the boy across the room. I see him smooth his hair once more before they disappear around a corner.
I straighten up and realize that I’ve been staring. I feel like a less talented, less interesting version of a Planet Earth photographer; he sits in a camouflaged tent for hours to capture footage of a Bird of Paradise performing its mating dance. It unfurls its feathers and bounces around a potential female partner. If the mate is disinterested, a fact that’s even harder to read on the expressionless faces of birds, the preened and radiantly feathered male will simply move on. The boy with the striped shirt has succeeded tonight. His friends, now members of a slightly smaller group, ruffle their feathers and turn their heads towards a new group of girls sitting closer to the bar.
As gleeful college biddies flock back north to the tundrous Great Lakes and to the non-stop pretty-people-party that is all southern schools, I can’t help but reminisce upon the terrible yet inevitable habit of losing everything.
When I was younger, I used to lose or leave something behind every time I left the house. My first few flip phones would go MIA for weeks at a time, only to show up again crushed at the bottom of a friend’s driveway or stowed away in the wings of the stage curtain by a boy who sang in the sixth grade chorus with me. Eventually, his mother told me of his intentions: he thought it would be funny to hijack my most prized possession and then heroically “find it” again. Of course, he forgot about the hijacking and the devious plan in its entirety and ceased to properly return the phone.
In seventh grade, I lost my childhood teddy bear in transit over a weekend in which I was attending three separate Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. There’s a price to pay that comes with being a 13 year old Jewish girl.
A night in which all you do is “win, win, win no matter what” can be awfully tainted by the loss of your Marc by Marc by Marc Jacobs by Jacobs Marc by Marc keychain. In college, girls lose a lot of things. Dignity, respect, iPhones, and wallets. While there rarely seems to be a bright side to losing any/all of the above, there still must be a reason why we lose so often–otherwise, we just wouldn’t. So here’s a few I came up with:
We lose stuff to get attention, because everyone loves putting together a search party for Daddy’s missing credit card.
We lose stuff to get new stuff, because, hey, wasn’t it time for that iPhone upgrade anyways?
We lose stuff to get our stuff returned, because you never know how attractive an honest man will be.
We lose stuff when we don’t really need or want what we lost, because who needs a jacket when you have a sick new crop-top with a major side boob exposé?
We lose stuff when we’re distracted, because we can’t help it that we’re so popular.
My mom used to yell at me for being so forgetful about my things, and I told her that it wasn’t something I could improve upon because it was an unavoidable character flaw. It’s part of being a girl. (It’s also part of being intoxicated.)