On Playing Hard to Get

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.

a.k.a. this

a.k.a. this

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 youOriginally, 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.


Flavor of the Week: Read Receipts

If you are not iPhone savvy, which essentially means kbye…

READ RECEIPT: An indication of whether a sent iMessage has been read by its recipient. If the most recently sent message has been read, the word “Read” along with the time at which it was read will appear underneath the message. If the message has not been read, the word “Delivered” will appear underneath. In order for this to function properly, the sender of the messages must have enabled his or her read receipts to be turned on in “Settings.”

An homage (and a very-needed pro/con list) to our favorite little thing to hate:

CONS:

1. Apple stole it from Blackberry, which is why “betches loved BBM.” We thought it was the best invention since sliced whole wheat bread that you could see when someone read your text. Oh yeah… remember that??

ily doe

2. If you’re attractive enough for a boy to stalk you, he’ll know you’re blatantly ignoring him.

3. If you’re passive-aggressive enough to ignore your best friend’s outspoken text, she’ll know you’re ignoring her.

4. The “Mom, I swear I fell asleep and didn’t see your text asking me to come home” excuse goes down the drain… like, sayonara.

5. The only way you can see if someone’s reading your messages if if their read receipts are on. So you can totally get away with having yours off but still being able to tell if they’re ignoring you.

PROS:

1. If you’re trying to play hard-to-get, you can let the other person know that you immediately read every text they send you the second you receive it yet still do not respond.

2. If you’re a guy, your girlfriend will know if you’re reading/ignoring her texts vs. if you genuinely haven’t looked at them yet. Let me emphasize that these PROS are geared towards the ladies.

3. You create an aura of trust with the people whom you text. They know you’re a hella honest babe if you’re putting yourself out there so much.

4. Most people in serious relationships have theirs on. I don’t know how this is a PRO, but it’s a funny thing to notice.

5. You come off as a total badass if your read receipts are on and you ignore people, hence you clearly not giving a f***.

Most people say that they “don’t believe in read receipts” like how I say “I don’t believe in people who chew so loudly that they literally could start another tsunami.” No matter how much you think you can ignore this cultural movement, it’s still going to exist. You don’t like read receipts because you believe in being super self-conscious privacy. Don’t worry–my receipts are shut off (post-serious boyfriend, of course). But if we could indulge in them without making people think we care too much, wouldn’t we all?


On The Six Degrees Of Separation

There is, most certainly, a recipe for a standard Jewish child:

HYFR

3 years at synagogue or JCC preschool

7-10 summers spent at overnight camp in the Poconos, the Berkshires, or Maine (number of years is flexible)

1 or more additional siblings

Born and raised in a northeastern suburb

Bar or Bat Mitzvah, obviously

Rarely tall or above-average in stature

There are more stereotypes that I could add to the mix, but I figured I should stop before I offend or exclude anyone. I highly considered writing “dark, curly, thick hair,” but I didn’t want to make the few blondes in the tribe feel any less JAPpy or legitimate than the rest of us.

The truth of the matter is that the Jewish culture, as well as other communities and groups of people sharing a common nationality or religion, comes with a lot of tradition. We lead similar lifestyles, and while some of us lean more towards Jack Rogers and others towards Doc Martens (cough cough, me), we still manage to have a lot in common.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to notice this more and more. When we’re younger, we make friends through the connections that our parents have. Now that we’re fully functioning young adults with control not only over our bladders, but also our studies, our social lives, and our luxury cars, the connections we make are truly our own. It is impossible for me to go anywhere–whether it be a party, lunch in town, a charity event, or even a spin class–without speaking to someone that I know at least one person in common with.

This phenomenon is known as the “Six Degrees of Separation.” According to Wikipedia, the most reliable source that feeds the minds of millennials, “Six degrees of separation is the theory that everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world, so that a chain of ‘a friend of a friend’ statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps.” As a nice Jewish girl, this theory has been a part of my life ever since I can remember. But still, to this day, it blows my mind.

Is John Mayer Jewish?

My parents met on Halloween in college when a friend in common introduced them on a street corner. It would come as no surprise to me if you told me that your parents were seated next to each other at a wedding, were set up on a blind date, or had at least one mutual friend.

For a while now, I’ve had a theory of my own. What if, to find our husbands or wives, we used the six degrees of separation to figure out who of the opposite sex (or of the same sex 😉 #DOMA) we statistically knew the most amount of people in common with? Then, what would happen?

Well, you would certainly have a lot to speak about, and that’s the obvious answer. But once you’re done discussing how that girl (who went to Hebrew school with both of you) shouldn’t have gotten into “x” college or how that guy (who also went to your pediatrician) needs to realize that no one cares he was a camp Olympics general, how much more would you have to discuss? Would my theory work? Or would we just have more people to gossip about?

To a certain extent, you are who you surround yourself with. If a boy and a girl know a lot of the same people, it could therefore mean that they are similar people themselves. But it could also mean that their paths crossed multiple times amongst the over-the-top Bar Mitzvah parties, the eight summers at camp, the four years at a rah-rah school, the three years in law school, the summer internship at JP Morgan… shall I dare continue?

Is there a difference between what is bashert and what, statistically, is a balanced recipe for a Jewish couple?

When we are done gossiping about the 2,000 people we know in common (2,000 is not an understatement) and we start to let our guards down about who we really are on the inside, will it be a perfect match?


On Being Obnoxious To Our Parents

I just spent ten days with my mother in Italy, and I’ve spent the entire summer living in a house with my two parents. You (the universal you) would think that I’d have the right to be a little #rude to the old folks now and then. But over the last month, I have been taught the difficult way that there is never a time, place, or excuse to be prissy, selfish, or my usual know-it-all-ish.

You can piss your parents off in a lot of ways. Here are some of my favorites:

  1. Tell them that they chew and/or breathe too loudly.
  2. If they ignore your comment that they chew and/or breathe too loudly, remove yourself from the general vicinity so that they understand the severity of their intensive chewing and/or breathing and its heavy impact upon you.
  3. Tell your mom that she “really needs Keratin.”
  4. Tell your dad that you think that the dog shit “in the front” and proceed to give him attitude when he asks you to clarify where “the front” is (obviously it means the mudroom, duh).
  5. Refuse to watch Criminal Minds in their bed with them at night regardless of how many times they ask you to.
  6. Raise your eyebrows when your dad says that he thinks he looks “pretty damn good.”
  7. Tell your mom it was dumb of her to cross out a word using pen on a government document because it will make her look like she is committing some sort of fraud.
  8. Tell your parents that you will vomit if they do not close the door while they are using the bathroom.
  9. Shit on your parents on every form of social media possible. Screen shot 2013-08-04 at 10.38.56 PM
  10. When your mom asks you why you shit on her on every form of social media possible, tweet about her asking you why you shit on her on every form of social media possible. Screen shot 2013-08-04 at 10.39.05 PM
  11. Then, shit on her more on social media by writing an entire blog post about it (just kidding, love you Mom).

On the nine-hour plane ride home from Italy, I did something that angered my mom which left her ranting about my usual negative tendencies. These are the typical recycled insults that she pulls out of the old mental phrasebook: “It’s just so sad. You really don’t even know me.” “You’re not a princess.” “You’re turning into a JAP.” “You talk to me like I’m a little piece of shit.” etc. etc. As you can imagine, the list continues. In this particular battle, my mom delved into the realm of me being unappreciative and never complimenting her appearance nor congratulating her for anything she does well.

So then, I thought: maybe I should stop telling my mom that she should get Keratin. I’m never sure why it’s so difficult to please our parents. It isn’t that we go out of our way to not please them. It’s that we go out of our way to please ourselves. As the filial generation, that is what we are programmed to do. Pleasing others will never be a necessity until we have others to please. Then, we find our own little ones pissing us off.

Me and Mammy Fresh killin it in Florence with some famous boar or something

I always try to convey this point to my mom when she’s angry with me. When I was younger and we argued, I would run to my room and cry for hours at a time. Now, I never cry anymore. Instead I stand there stone cold and reply to every sentence that trails out of her mouth. I refuse to give in and let her know that I may actually feel bad about whatever I did. Part of me does this because I want to show her that I’m not afraid anymore. Maybe we fight back because we’re so similar to our parents and watch the flaws in ourselves come to life in the form of a week-long grudge or an annoying habit (i.e. my father chewing loud enough to make me believe there could be an earthquake). Maybe we’re like this because we’re getting older; we’re getting closer to going from being the ones who listened to the ones who speak. I have to learn to yell somehow, and I suppose my mother is my first victim. My daughter will be my second.

For the remaining three hours of our flight home, I kept repeating the thought over and over again in my head: we’re so fiery because we have no one to teach lessons to yet besides each other. So, we bicker amongst ourselves and talk back to our parents. We tell our mothers that they should get a Moroccan oil treatment to calm their troll doll-esque hair instead of rewarding them with a small compliment for wearing ballet flats instead of clogs. (Just kidding, Mom–I don’t think your hair is reminiscent of a troll doll’s, I promise!!! But don’t get me started on the clogs……..)


On Visiting Day

Between hype over “The Running of the Jews,” a concept my parents made sure I understood before I knew how to say “Shabbat shalom,” and the annual event that took place all along the northeast last weekend, I thought it fitting to make this week’s flavor d-day v-day. According to the Christian faith, v-day is an abbrev for Valentine’s Day. According to the Jewish faith, v-day is short for Visiting Day–an annual holiday filled with more love, blood, sweat, tears, and romance than any other.

I spent last weekend visiting my two younger brothers at sleepaway camp in Maine. I decided that I would make it a social experiment. I promised myself that I would, however tedious it may be, take copious notes of the ridiculous things I heard people say while I was up here. I knew that surrounding myself with ironic, lobster-craving Jews for a full four days would provide the perfect opportunity to compose a beautiful quote book.

This is my 15-year-old brother when I made him put on a fashion show for me including all of the equipment he needs to wear on his week-long canoe trip. He’s obviously psyched.

Before I delve deep into the realm of #ShitPeopleSayOnVDay, I thought I could share a story that will perfectly set the tone for the type of weekend I had. During my brother’s intramural basketball game in a field house hot enough to be the burning embers of body odor in an all-boys camp hell, I really really really had to pee. Whenever I visit my brothers at camp, I have a few fears that are ever-lingering as scars from various experiences of my own at summer camp (i.e., the time I was ten and shit my pants during the age group play… yes, that is one of the most underrated and best kept secrets from my time at camp). Unbeknownst to me, this would become one of those deep cuts in the side of my female dignity.

“Where’s the girls’ bathroom?” I asked my mom.

“The bathrooms are unisex here,” my mom replied in a voice much too nonchalant, implying that for one, it should have been obvious that there were no girls’ bathrooms, and two, that she was trying to sound “mad chill.” As in, every girl uses urinals here.

Thus, I entered the so-called unisex bathroom in the field house. It wasn’t a bathroom that locked–it had two urinals and one private stall. Unisex enough. I went into the stall to pee and spent the entire time praying that no one would walk in. Just as I was about to leave the stall, the bathroom door opened. Of course.

I cannot express enough how this easily could have been a scene from Bridesmaids or The Heat or some other woman-powered comedy flick that macho men refuse to admit is one of the funniest movies they have ever seen. The following ensued: I peeked under the stall and saw that the intruder was a male. How did I know this? He was using the urinal. Fabulous.

Then, so he wouldn’t see me, I put my feet on the toilet seat and crouched there, hugging my legs so he wouldn’t know I was there, until I was in the clear and it was safe to go. For more reasons than one, I was holding my breath. I crouched on the toilet for a good five or six minutes. Might I add, I was drenched in sweat in the most ungraceful way possible.

Finally, he left. I came out of the stall. Just as I opened the door to exit the bathroom, nervous about the strange looks I was guaranteed to get from everyone who realized that I was alone… in a bathroom… with this man… ugh… a GRANDPA walked in. That was an awkward encounter for sure. Especially when I waved and said “Hi!” to him, as if I normally used the boys’ bathroom. How progressive of me.

Enjoy the quotes!

After the first day, I was an accessory to my parents at a dinner of six couples, all with sons in the same group of camp friends. Word for word, here are the best quotes of the night (from the mothers):

“You’re only as happy as your most unhappy child.”

“I’m so proud of myself for friending you on Facebook!!!!!”

“I think that the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry has gotten much more respectable.”

“Every kid was asking for candy, and my kid’s asking for the Boston Globe!!!”

“Let’s face it. Jews love to overdo.” (This could be almost be considered a mantra.)

After dinner, I walked around the quaint, colonial town with my parents.

“Everything says ‘Kennebec’ up here,” said my father.

“I think that’s the name of the river,” I told him from my experience as a seven-year Maine camper.

“No,” he shook his head. “I think that’s just a big word up here,” OK, Dad.

The next day:

“These boys look malnourished.” –My mother in response to the “skins” team during basketball

“What’s civilization?” –My11-year-old cousin’s totally serious and non-sarcastic response to my brother’s claim that he misses civilization

“It’s like the Hunger Games.” –My youngest brother in line to get ice cream

“Rate me on a scale of 1 to 10 of how skinny or fat you think I got since I’ve seen you last and especially pay attention to how I look in these jean shorts.” –Someone who may or may not have been me to my 11-year-old brother

I hope your visiting days were lovely and included both lots of fun and a three-pound max weight gain!

I blog about my time as a camper for the Maine Camp Experience. You can read some of my posts by clicking here.

This post is dedicated to 1AB 2011.


On What’s in a Name

I have decided that the second most important day in my life will be the day that I decide what to name my children. The first, most important day of my life will be the day I attend a party at Jay Gatsby’s house or smoke with yo gurl Miley. I must admit that I practically have chosen my future children’s names already. I mean, if we’re being real, hasn’t everyone?? But unfortunately, it really doesn’t count because I haven’t yet pretended to care what my husband’s say in the matter is.

Of the the trendiest activities is baby-naming. It’s like going to effing SoulCycle. Nowadays, having a good name is just as important as carrying around an Herve Chapelier tote in the seventh grade. When I was born, my name was the number seven most popular name, according to a random government website. Palindromes were so the thing. In pre-school, there was another girl named “Hannah.” Because I always wanted to start with my trendiest foot forward, I had everybody call me “Hannah Dylan,” incorporating my chic middle name into the mix.

I couldn’t tell you what the most popular baby name is today because the government people haven’t updated their website in literally years, and Snowden hasn’t released anything on the topic onto WikiLeaks yet (ugh, right?) but if I could take a guess it might be Ali, especially after the recent rise of psychos inspired by Pretty Little Liars. Also because I feel like everyone is named Ali and that’s a very wild guess.

I would like to take the time to go through the do’s and don’t’s of recent celeb baby names. Because trust me, whether you’re thirty-something or just a hopeless 13-year-old auditioning for Teen Mom, you’ll thank me.

1. Gwyeneth’s Apple Paltrow

Gwyen—what are you thinking girl? Your daughter’s name reminds me of putting on my Victoria’s Secret lip gloss in the synagogue bathroom during Rosh Hashana. Yet something inside of me loves it.

2. Nicole Richie’s Harlow and Sparrow

Nic—I wish you were my mother. I hope you enjoy breast feeding Harlow and Sparrow in the middle of an ever-growing wheat field.

3. Gwen Stefani’s Zuma Nesta Rock

Are we in the middle of Ethiopia? Didn’t think so. But next time we are, I’ll be sure to name my kid Boulder Stream Ocean Sanctuary Pelican Algae Savannah.

 

 

4. Ashlee Simpson’s Bronx Mowgli

I don’t get it Ash. Nic got away with marrying a punk rocker but didn’t f- up the names. Why, babe? Why?
 

5. Hilary Duff’s Luca Cruz Comrie

She wins, hands down. However, I still cannot get over the fact that Lizzie McGuire’s uterus is mature enough to develop a human being.

As for me? I must have a Lila. I like Noa for a girl. And Gus. Is that pushing it? Fine. Then I’ll just go with East, even though that’s definitely not Jewish enough.

“I Am A God” feat. God


Flavor of the Week: Jane Lynch

I’ve mentioned Jane Lynch once before in a reference to me wearing tracksuits and looking ironically athletic, but I felt like she deserved more than a snide mention in a photo caption. We love Ellen Degeneres Jane Lynch because she really twerks it 24/7. She’s a great human because she’s a combination of Vanna White and Justin Bieber—Jane is, actually, drop dead gorgeous (courtesy of Vanna) but totally rocks the lesbian vibe (courtesy of J. Biebs).

Can we puh-lease have a moment of silence to appreciate this photo. Just, like, I can’t even.

Recently, Jane Lynch took up the Broadway role of Ms. Hannigan in Annie, which is suiting for her since Ms. Hannigan is obviously the alter ego of Sue Sylvester, crazy tea party-ist and belligerent racist cheerleading coach on Fox’s Glee. My mom always claims that when she was younger in the year 1800, she auditioned for the role of Annie the first time the show went on Broadway. I used to tell all of my friends this to make myself sound really cool. My mom did not get the role, if you were wondering. I also did not gain any popularity from telling everyone that story, if you were wondering about that, too.

We love you, Ms. Hannah-Dylan-Pasternak-gan

Jane Lynch wore a tracksuit to a Hollywood awards ceremony, so I wore a tracksuit to a Hollywood awards ceremony. JK LOL, I would never be invited to an awards ceremony, but I did wear a tracksuit to prom. JK LOL again, I would never wear a tracksuit at all. It’s a metaphor, of course.

ILY, Jane Lynch.