I’ve always known that if I were to ever become a millionaire, it would not be due to a million-dollar idea. It would be more likely that I’d receive a million-dollar book deal, and even more likely that I’d win the lottery (just to put things into perspective for you). Steve Jobs had a million-dollar idea by transforming the world of transportable music. To do something like that, I figured, one would have to be wildly intelligent. My intelligence about technology and other 21st century “things” extends no further than my aptitude for Facebook etiquette. If I were to ever be inventive in any sort, I would have to create something so simple that the world would change forever. I would have to create something like Post-its: the smartest dumb invention of all time.
When you break it down, Post-its are small scraps of brightly colored paper with a centimeter-wide strip of sticky shit on the back. There’s no excuse as to why I can’t invent something like this. After all, the inventor of the Post-it must have been an OCD mother of four (maybe temple sisterhood president?) who makes us question, “Oh, just how does she do it all?!” with the utmost amazement and sheer respect.
I use Post-its more than I used Google translate in high school and more than I used this girl I knew in elementary school just to eat Nutella at her house combined. Here is why we effin’ love Post-its:
The discussions I typically have amongst my friends are usually intelligent. For example, we enjoy talking about theoretical concepts in religion and politics. We also graze upon public policy and amongst public policy, we indulge in the topic of education. As a group of friends that is, for the most part, pretty intellectual, we care about education and are rather opinionated about it. Now that school is back in session, these tiny movie clips of conversation are playing on a reel inside of my head like memories I can’t seem to get my mind off of. I’m wondering if over the next “x” amount of years I spend learning, I’ll figure out the answers to some of the questions about the way stuff works. But for now, I figured that these bits of discussion and information would be good to share. Mean Girls has relevance because we can’t stop quoting it, so my everlasting questions about our system of higher education are important because I can’t stop thinking about them, right? Like is that not the basis of all logic?
The topic we’ve discussed most was more of a thesis than anything else, and it is this: not everyone should go to college.
Today, you constantly see ad campaigns pushing for a college education. Is it true that in today’s society, it seems as though lack of a four-year bachelor’s degree and even some form of post-graduate education is necessary to land a well-paying steady job? Yes, it definitely seems that way. So when I say that not everyone should go to college, I am totally aware of the fact that 9 times out of 10 in the world we live in today, higher education is necessary. But do I think that society should have remodeled itself the way it did to fit that statistic? No, not at all.
You used to not need to go to college to live pretty well-off. If you think about it, that’s why so many millennials are the first in their families to attend college. A university education is incredibly expensive (and perhaps overpriced, a topic I will delve into a little later). If you know that the career path you plan on following is not going to ever require that you know half of the things you are going to learn in college, then why waste your money and time? Economically, it doesn’t make sense.
Because of the influx in the amount of people who want to attend four-year institutions, the application process is increasingly competitive. A college acceptance is starting to become similar to winning Willy Wonka’s golden ticket. Or, for those of you who stick to diets of lettuce and coffee, think of it as willing the mega-millions. I happen to not be a huge fan of the lottery example because there’s a larger likelihood that from your college education you’ll spend around $100,000 and graduate unemployed and in debt to your parents, the bank, or if you’re lucky, both!!!! But, hey, I’m just a pessimist.
If you’re aiming for a career that will really require four years (or more) of higher education, then go for it. If anyone is in favor of being as educated as possible, it’s me. I have binders full of worksheets I made while I was in elementary school. Every weekend–hell, every chance I got–I would force my younger brothers to “play school.” My parents bought me a giant whiteboard and a set of Expo markers. If it were up to me, I would be in school forever. But why continue going if a) you aren’t super passionate about learning, like I and the other anomalies out there are, b) it isn’t necessary for the lifestyle you want to lead, and c) the expenses are outrageous?
You could say that the real problem here is the very cost of education; if higher education wasn’t so expensive, then it wouldn’t be so difficult to give another four years of your life to learning, and although your career may not require all of the learning that is non-specific to your trade, the price of the education would make the whole experience worth it regardless.
And, now, on the topic of expense: why is college getting increasingly expensive? I’m not so great at economics, but I know the rule of supply and demand. When supply is low, demand goes up, and price goes up. When supply is high, and demand is low, price goes down. Although college is getting more competitive, there is a larger number of students now than there ever was before. So demand is high, but it also seems that supply is high. And… price is high? Something isn’t right here. I’m no Econ major, but what do you expect from a pointless liberal arts education anyways?!?!
If anything, I feel like the value of a college education is going down. When everyone’s getting a college degree, no one’s getting a college degree. What I mean by this: when everyone’s wearing Doc Martens, they lose their cool. Now do you get what I’m saying? So, we’ve resorted to various graduate degrees. When something is less unique, it’s less valuable. This is not to say that I don’t feel absolutely #blessed for the education experience I’m receiving. I wouldn’t change a thing for the world. But maybe I’m just a victim to the times.
There is, most certainly, a recipe for a standard Jewish child:
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.
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?
Just the name brings back pings of luxury and memories of the endless struggle of keeping your hair as tame as possible when going out at night. What once was a place of family fun and average-income couples who drink beer on their motel porches until 2 a.m. has now become a harboring for hipsters and young, wealthy 20-somethings alike. I’m out here for a week, but if I see a table of guys wearing cuffed jeans and tight yellow cutoffs while I’m eating my egg white omelet one more time, I might have to leave. And you know me—it is a rare occasion when I let an egg white omelet go unfinished.
The Hamptons are really dreamy, and I say that in all seriousness. You drive out of the city along this thin strip of highway for a couple of hours until you get to a totally isolated but glamorous beach community full of the young, the beautiful, and the wealthy.
So basically, it’s a Lana Del Rey song.
There is a certain stigma about going “to the Hamptons.” Like:
“I’m going to be in the Hamptons next week.”
“You’re going to be in the Hamptons?! Same! Let’s totally get together for lunch one day.”
This is all fab, except a) these two people are blind to the fact that one of them is probably going to Quogue or Westhampton, both of which are 100,000 miles from every other Hampton (put it this way—Cady Heron is to Westhampton as Regina George is to East Hampton) hence the fact that “getting lunch” would actually be way more convenient at home in Westchester, and b) this conversation was 60% actual interest in making plans and 40% an ego boost so that each person could say out loud that she is going to the Hamptons. Scratch that—make it 50/50.
The Hamptons are respected by all, including the rich and famous, and especially by Kanye West. He gives a pretty nice shout out in Yeezus’ “New Slaves”…They prolly all in the Hamptons Bragging ’bout what they made F— you and your Hampton house I’ll f— your Hampton spouse Came on her Hampton blouse And in her Hampton mouth
…so that’s all really appropriate, censored, and lovely. As you can tell from Yeezus himself, the Hamptons are all about good ol’ fashioned family fun. Good stuff.
Because Kanye West’s new album, Yeezus, is supposedly a literal work of God, I thought it was worth a good haiku review. Surprisingly, and probably unlike most other females I would typically associate myself with, I actually really like this album and listen to it in its entirety at least once a day… not even kidding. However, that doesn’t mean I’m not about to go all out HAM on these haikus.
Yeezus by Kanye West1. On Sight Aliens invade Mixed with an unfortunate Song by Depeche Mode [*note–if you have never heard an unfortunate song by Depeche Mode, listen here. The lyrics start at 0:35, but the music video is funny enough to compensate for the ear bleed. I promise, you’ll laugh.] 2. Black Skinhead Is it me, or is This song not from “The Lion King” soundtrack? 3. I Am A God (by Kanye West and God) Thank the heavens* that Hashem was able to make This recording sesh! [*Lolz, punny] 4. New Slaves Kanye gets deep with These lyrics. Also Alvin (The chipmunk) sings some. 5. Hold My Liquor I really like this. Do not understand how he is a lightweight though…? 6. I’m In It Audio track from Kim’s sex tape plus Kanye’s good time with “Asian girl.” 7. Blood On The Leaves Beauty. Kanye got Zero’s g-ma from “Holes” to Sing it. Amirite? 8. Guilt Trip Wait, what? I just got Distracted by an Insta Of Scott Disick’s beard. 9. Send It Up What is he sending Up and please tell me why it Is not going down?????? 10. Bound 2 Best on Yeezus. Sing This to me and we can get Married. Pinky swear.
Your Most Trusted And Knowledgeable Source For All Music Review Haikus, Especially Those In The Rap Genre (because obviously) (haha jokes).
Life is full of a million tiny moments, and when one tiny moment transitions into another, change happens. Basically every second we are awake, or even when we are asleep, something is different than what it was before: your heart makes a new beat, your mind drifts into new, uncharted waters, you feel something you’ve never felt before. And when all of these changes occur simultaneously, you become a kid trapped on a roller coaster when you really don’t like roller coasters at all.
One of the funniest things about change is how much, or how little, we control it. Just when you think you have the reigns, you don’t, and a situation catapults out of control. Just when you make something delicate into something perfect, it breaks. Naturally, of course, it has to.
Why has changed evolved into this concept that almost everyone is afraid of? I’ve heard so many people say, “Oh, I don’t do change well.” My mom always tells me that my dad is “afraid of change.” Change can certainly be good, because before something good turns into something bad, something bad must have turned into that something good. But I guess we just hone in on the negativity because as humans, that is what we are programmed to do.
I always thought that I couldn’t cope with change. My first year of middle school, I was an absolute wreck and a 95-pound ball of anxiety. My freshman year of high school, my anxiety creeped back upon me like a skeleton with long, bony fingers (basically Nicole Richie circa 2006). So, as I’m now the bony skeleton creeping upon another new part of my life, I can’t help but wonder just how much change will destroy me over the next year.
So far, it’s been interesting. I’ve learned a lot because I’ve messed up a lot. Then again, my recent mess ups brought me to some of my most balanced moments. I can’t help but wonder–am I just endlessly screwing up to beat change to the punch? When I think about these mistakes I’ve made, I don’t feel regret. I just feel like I’ve made a mistake. Does that make me a horrible person? If each of us could apologize to every person we’ve ever hurt, then I think that we would. But that couldn’t work for a couple of reasons–no matter how much we say or do, we can never really go back and change what happened. Gatsby can say that the past is repeatable as many times as he wants, and perhaps he’s right. We can repeat the past with our tortured emotions and our aching hearts. But, ultimately, we’re just going to end up back in the present. Changes happens, yes. And so does reality.
After all that’s happened in the past two months–some mistakes made by yours truly, some mistakes made by immature boys who think it’s OK to tell a lady to “go f— yourself”–I understand that life isn’t always a box of chocolates. It’s more like a fortune cookie. It’s always pretty sweet on the outside. But often, what’s inside can disappoint you. It can also pleasantly surprise you.
Here is my life at the moment in three fortune cookies:
#1 would be a fortune cookie that you crack open, but find no fortune. This cookie offered me nothing, and instead, chose to disappear. In the end, it will be this fortune’s loss and not mine. Because if you run away, no one gets your message, and you’ve accomplished nothing.
#2 would be a fortune that makes me feel like a total asshole. “Stop shopping too much, there are naked children in Bangladesh,” “You are a selfish whore,” “Go sit in the corner and think about what you did. –Taylor Swift,” etc.
#3 would be a good fortune. It doesn’t even necessarily have to compliment me, but it would make me think about myself. Some of my favorite fortunes I’ve ever gotten that remind me of this one include, “I learn by going where I have to go,” “Your life is like a kaleidoscope,” and “A kiss makes the heart young and wipe out the years.” And that grammatical error could not be more suitable for this fortune–I love it every second anyway.
Today I feel different. Two days ago, I spent a lot of time sleeping. I napped from 12-5pm and then got back in bed at 8pm, only to get up at 10am the next morning. I cried a little, of course. But today, I feel different. So right now, I like change, because it brought me here.
(… na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na)
I have a memory that almost seems like a dream. It was Halloween, and I was in fifth grade. I went trick-or-treating with my parents in the wealthiest neighborhood in the county because they gave out one-pound chocolate bars. As we drove through the entrance of the community, “Rich Girl” by Gwen Stefani started playing on the radio. It was warm out, and our windows were rolled down. I don’t know why, but I felt like I was in a movie that took place in 1980s Los Angeles. Since then, things have never been the same.
I have a really bad habit of losing things. Actually, I have a really bad habit of losing money. It seems that I most often lose it at the mall, at the nail salon, and on zappos.com. I also, coincidentally, lose a lot of money at Urban Outfitters sales and at this one thrift store in Brooklyn. And at the bagel store where I get my chopped salad…… and at any fro-yo place I have yet to try (because I obviously have to try every fro-yo place in the world, duh).
I think that I have a pretty strong obsession with saving money. But because I “lose” it so much, my mom’s response to this thought is that I’m a blatantly pathological liar who needs a reality check. (Shoutout to the babe who also said I needed a reality check via Facebook status. Like, come on. Everyone knows that shit-talking stays on Twitter. At least have the decency to subtweet like a classy young lady). But, it’s true. I do have an obsession with money, just in a sort of twisted way. I’m never greedy, and I’m always willing to spot a friend. But when I’m not making enough of my own money, I get anxiety. I spend my free-thought time thinking about the money I could be making when I’m studying or hanging out with friends.
So, this year, I got a job. Actually, I got three. I’ve been tutoring and babysitting since I was in eighth grade. For a few months this year, I was tutoring for two hours a day, Monday to Friday. Then I would give up either Saturday or Sunday to babysit. I received a job offer working for a camp and summer program consulting agency that I did not want to pass up on; so, I added that to my plate. Before I knew it, this (see below) was literally my schedule. And I am not exaggerating one bit:
2:30pm – 6pm Work at consulting business
6:15pm – 7:15pm Tutor student #1
7:15pm – 8:15pm Tutor student #2
8:30pm – 9pm Eat dinner
9:30pm Start studying/working
6am the next day… Wake up
I was making a really good amount of money every week, and I stopped having nightmares in which Oscar de la Renta was making me work in a sweat shop in order to let me wear his Strapless Floral-Applique Ball Gown and then PSY would come in and make me listen to Gangnam Style until I was able to sing the Korean part fluently. Let me tell you, it was HORRIBLE. But, working felt worth-it and rewarding. My bad dreams were gone and so was the pit in my stomach that ached for money. Call me crazy because I’m crazy. I know.
They say that dogs are a man’s best friend. Well, let me tell you: credit cards are a woman’s best friend. Imagine having invisible money that grows on trees. What do you get? A credit card. You also get a really bad credit score but I’m still too young to convince myself that it’s time to worry about that. And while I love credit cards, they scare the hell out of me. Even though I have my own checking account and my own card, along with the emergency one supplied by Mommy and Daddy, and even though my checking account is solely funded by me and the income that I make from my wide array of jobs, I am afraid to use the card. It’s not like the account balance is under $7 (at the moment…. what??) and it’s not that I don’t know how to use a credit/debit card–trust me, I very well do–I just don’t like the idea of not being able to see what I’m spending. Then, I start to get nervous.
When I told my mom about this, her response was that I opened up a checking account so that I could use the money. That’s the point of it, she said. Well, I’m still afraid and I don’t really know why.
Maybe it has to do with our economy? When we first hit recession, I was too young and too concerned with my first MySpace profile to really understand what was going on. I can openly admit that even now, I only comprehend the stock market a small percentage of the time. Our planet revolves around money. So when I spend, I feel like I’m going to fall off of Earth. It’s a bittersweet and guilty feeling, really. To put it in Jewish terms, it’s something similar to the first day of your last year of sleepaway camp. You don’t want it to start because you don’t want it to end. I don’t want to start using my debit card because I don’t want to lose all of the money I saved in there, too.
By the time I turn 25, I feel like the lifestyle I want won’t even exist. How will I possibly be able to afford a studio apartment in New York City that is, at most, the size of my current closet? Note: my current closet is very short of a walk-in.
It is fifteen years after the first episode of Sex and the City came out, and just recently did people start to question just how Carrie Bradshaw was able to own just that many pair of Manolos. Imagine how far-fetched her lifestyle will seem by the time I’m old enough to really be living it. Carrie wannabes like myself–we’re all screwed.
Maybe I should close my checking account.