On Corny Life Advice, Courtesy of The Internet

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Earlier today, I was looking online for some FYD-inspiration. Instead, I ended up trolling the big thought-piece websites (Elite Daily, Thought Catalog, Jezebel, and the like) for a solid hour. After digesting the mass load of lists about what I should do in my 20’s, things I should tell my BFF like RN!!, who I should have sex with, and how I can learn to let go of an ex, I couldn’t help but take a step back and realize: we really do eat this shit up like candy. We read content (which, might I add, The FYD even contributes to) that is so empty yet so fulfilling. All right, maybe “empty” isn’t the right word. But it’s stuff we already know–it’s stuff we already feel. We love the internet because it puts into words what, often, we cannot.

My best friends and I are currently dispersed around the country. 50% of our communication is laced into the cutesy articles we Facebook message back and forth on a daily basis. Finding a new one that no one’s sent yet is like finding a puzzle piece or a love letter. These articles, posts, or whatever you’d like to call them, help us confirm and communicate what we’re feelin’. Guess what? Now, we don’t even have to hide behind our iPhone screens to send a passive-aggressive iMessage. We can just send a “20 things” list! If you’re feeling risqué, you can even send an open letter.

Though I can’t really imagine myself ever being passive-aggressive, I love this internet phenomenon almost as much as I love a good pair of overalls. If you don’t feel like joining the movement, I’ll sum up the best of the best for you. Here’s a round up of everything you really need to know about love, dating, sex, and being 20-something as told to you by millennials who write the stuff that always comes up on your Facebook newsfeed:

  1. Only your true best friend knows when you’re pooping, and how good, bad, or average it was.
  2. Loneliness makes us make some pretty bad decisions.
  3. Not every person you’re with has to be someone you want to be with forever.
  4. Sometimes, binge eating is necessary and ok. But when you binge, there is always an underlying reason for it, and that usually means something’s not ok.
  5. Everything happens for a reason.
  6. For some people, eating 4 slices of cake is something you should definitely do. For other people, it isn’t. Just do what makes you happy.
  7. Pay attention in class.
  8. We are born alone, and we die alone, so it’s ok to be alone sometimes. Actually, it’s really good.
  9. Finding “the one” only matters if you find him or her at the right time.
  10. It’s hard, but often necessary, to unlove someone.
  11. You know you’re really close with someone if you can sit in silence together.
  12. Nobody cares when you subtly complain about how little you ate.
  13. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone.
  14. You also really don’t have to wear so much makeup.
  15. When women are alone, they do not wear pants.
  16. When a friend asks you about her outfit, be honest.
  17. And even though the internet is throwing all of this advice at you, telling you how you should feel about being alive, remember that you have a gut (regardless of whether or not you ate the four pieces of cake) and first and foremost, you should always go with that.

Flavor of the Week: Valentine’s Day

mean girls valentine

A week ago, I wasn’t sure if my “Valentine” knew about Valentine’s. He kept referring to February 14th as “February 14th” and not as “Valentine’s Day.” It could have been intentional, sure. But it also could have been because he lives under a rock. I assumed it was the latter. I also devised a devious plan.

I figured I wouldn’t bring it up. I’d wait it out and see if the V-word would ever make its way into our vocabulary. If I were to write about Valentine’s Day before I saw him on February 14th, he would have seen it, and my plan to make him figure it out on his own–or else–would have been tragically ruined. I was creating a loophole, expecting–or maybe even hoping–that February 14th would come and I would be able to say, “Happy Valentine’s Day to you too, Babe.” The “babe” would obviously be in a very rude and sarcastic tone, and he would owe me everything for a lifetime because of it.

Girls are completely evil. In what sick, twisted world would anyone want her Valentine to forget Valentine’s Day? Apparently, this one.

Eventually, I found out that he knows Valentine’s Day is this Friday. I’ll miss my evil plan, but it was time to part ways. I feel terrible for boys who have to deal with girls like me every February 14th–or, for that matter, boys who have to deal with any girls at all. Valentine’s Day is full of glitter, hearts, chocolate, and contradiction.

Girls who say they hate Valentine’s Day really don’t. These are the girls who, though they’d never admit it, actually care about Valentine’s Day more than anyone else. If they really hated it and if they really didn’t care, they’d have no opinion at all. Now, the girls who hate Valentine’s Day are reading this and saying, “But I really actually don’t give a shit.” Honey, please. How can you not?

These are the girls who have the highest expectations for Valentine’s Day, and they assume their expectations will not be met months before February even rolls around. They’re disappointed before they’re given the opportunity to be pleased. Being anti-Valentine’s doesn’t make you independent or rebellious, either. In my fattest and most awkward stages throughout life, I’ve always managed to love Valentine’s Day. Having my mom and my grandma was plenty for me.

The best way to go about Valentine’s Day is understatedly. It’s one of the few holidays where I truly believe less is more. I always thought that receiving jewelry as a gift was incredibly awkward. When a boy gives me jewelry, I always feel like I owe him something in return. I feel guilty taking it. It’s fancy. I’m not. (Then again, that isn’t to say I won’t accept it. I mean, let’s face it, I’m poor and I’ll take whatever I can get.)

The problem with Valentine’s Day for both guys and girls is the ridiculous amount of pressure that people manage to shove onto a calendar date. For some reason, humans feel the need to prove how much they love each other on one day. I love Valentine’s Day–I always have–so I’m not saying I’m against it. I am, however, against the awkward pressure between two people who both can’t help wondering how much the other is satisfied. Satisfy me 365 days a year, and I’ll feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Buy me a low key dinner on February 14th, and I’ll still just as much feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Hey, at least you remembered what February 14th is.

I said it before, and I’ll say it again–girls are evil. Sure, I bet I’m selling myself as the coolest Valentine there is. I don’t need gifts! I don’t need lovin’! But of course, if I were to get nada, I’d be temperamental as feck. We say we hate Valentine’s Day, but that’s really because we love it. We say we love Valentine’s Day, and then make boys feel like they need to buy us Blue Ivy or North West or earrings or something. This is what Valentine’s Day does to us. The insanity is painstaking, but for some reason, it remains one of my favorite days of the year–in my fat, awkward stages, and in my well groomed ones.

Valentine’s is a day about love; not about boys and not about gifts. If you want to give someone the best Valentine’s Day there is, then remember that. Besides, save your whining and disappointment for New Years’. If you want to talk about depressing holidays, I’ll give ya that.

Image via


A Bar Mating Dance

douche de leche

“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:

douche

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.


Flavor of the Week: The Real Biggest Losers

The Biggest Loser

I’ve never watched a full episode of The Biggest Loser. I only have one friend who’s really into it (though I don’t believe she even watched this season), and the only other person I know who liked it was my grandma (who is now deceased). Regardless, it seems like a pretty inspirational show. People change their lives for the better, have happily ever afters, etc. etc. etc. The concept is really great. But in a society where we teeter back and forth between being too thin and too fat, does The Biggest Loser prompt people to feel like… big losers?

Rachel Frederickson was just crowned this season’s winner, dropping from 260 to 105 pounds. Before I read the first of many articles I would eventually read about her, I saw her “after” photo. She looked good–toned, fit, thin. I assumed she was in her early-mid 30s. It turns out that Rachel’s only 24. That was the first unsettling fact to me.

Then, I learned that she now weighs only 105 pounds. Then, I learned that Rachel is 5’4”. I’m 5’4”. I’m not nearly 105 pounds. Yes, bodies come in every shape and size, and weight is just a number. Body fat is proportioned differently depending on the person, and no one should feel the need to conform to a number on an outdated BMI index. But there is an undeniable fact that everyone is aware of, and it is that being 105 pounds and 5’4” usually means you’re too thin.

Obviously, controversy sparked from every corner of the body-centric world. Two very valid arguments arise: the first, that The Biggest Loser is a weight loss show and Rachel accomplished (very well) exactly what she went on the show to do. This side argues Rachel shouldn’t be penalized and she didn’t take things too far. The second argument pleads the opposite: that Rachel clearly has a problem; one drilled into her head by a show that monitors contestants as if it was the NSA for fat people.

Those of you who blame The Biggest Loser for turning an obese young woman into a petite someone who other women will envy–you are wrong. You cannot blame a television production based on helping unhealthy people lead healthy lifestyles for a contestant’s weight loss. At the same time, you can’t say that Rachel’s weight loss is okay just because you “wouldn’t call her skeletal,” as Betches Love This likes to put it. “Have you ever seen an actual anorexic person or like, a Holocaust survivor?” The “Betches” continue, “That is fucking skeletal.” They also say that Rachel “is the size of a mother of three who spends a lot of time at Soul Cycle or like, Kate Middleton,” and therefore we shouldn’t be concerned.

No, no, no, no, no. We can be funny all we want–we can make fun of ourselves, of the pettiness of young women, of the ridiculous obsessions we have with things like social media and men, but we cannot make jokes about body image. Just because someone doesn’t “look” like they have an eating disorder–like they aren’t “skeletal”–doesn’t mean they aren’t suffering mentally.

Last week, I called my mom in hysterics because I felt comparable to a very large whale. Moms are used to the complaints of their daughters, many of whom are perfectly fine and healthy but suffer from a paranoia and awareness of the body that is unnecessarily overwhelming. My mom, however, could sense the extreme level of shittiness I was feeling. When I told her that it pained me to look in the mirror and to have more than one sit-down meal a day–that the thought of giving in to a plateful of food rather than the Chobani and then the apple and then the Fiber One bar snacking regimen I had perfected to a tee–she knew I was falling into a trap.

My mom asked me why I hadn’t spoken to anyone about this–my friends, a therapist, etc. I told her something I consider to be one of the most wretched mindsets of our image-infatuated generation: I just didn’t look like I had a problem. I’m not “thin,” I’m curvy with a butt and boobs and legs, and I’m pretty sure I’ve been like that since the fourth grade. What are the odds that someone takes me seriously when I walk up to her and tell her I’m having trouble eating? You can claim someone would listen to me, and if it was a real problem, someone would be able to tell. But unfortunately, I can fill you in from experience–that isn’t the case. It seems like you can’t have a problem unless you look like you do.

Okay, so if I lose 30 pounds, will you believe me then?

Luckily, I swung out of my funk and adjusted back to a normal, healthy routine. But there are thousands upon thousands of girls that won’t. Did Rachel Frederickson’s drastic weight loss pose a bad influence on self-conscious teens? I didn’t watch The Biggest Loser, but I’m assuming they only showed her losing weight healthily. They probably didn’t showcase her anorexia, or her bulimia, or any other eating disorder she might have. As I said before, her size doesn’t have to correlate to her mental state, and her mental state doesn’t have to correlate to her size.

In truth, the people who tend to be sensitive to the appearances of people in the media will be affected by Rachel’s weight loss just as they would the body of any other celebrity. The less sensitive people won’t. The job of The Biggest Loser is to help its contestants become healthier. The job of me–and of every other young lady, and even the job of every young man–is to make sure that I am healthy, that my friends are healthy, and that my family is healthy. Rachel’s weight loss was startling to me, too. But can we please get over the battle of too thin versus thin enough and realize the bigger picture?

Please?

Image via


On The Super Bowl (And The Boy’s Girl)

Am I a boy's girl yet?

Am I a boy’s girl yet?

My 10th grade history teacher tried to convince my class that football was a modern day version of gladiator fighting. Internally, I somewhat agreed. He was a smart man and made his case well–gladiators fought as a means of entertainment, flooding arenas with fans who wanted to see a man (though it didn’t matter which one) die. Football’s not far off. For some reason, people love seeing bodies hurled at each other. While we don’t watch football players literally fight to the death, we live vicariously through their injuries, wondering if we, too, will make that same, painful expression one day during childbirth.

The Super Bowl is a staple of American culture. Most people genuinely enjoy it, but in the way you enjoy Break-Fast on Yom Kippur. It’s not because you like repenting for your sins, but because the holiday just sends out a festive vibe or whatever. In my book, the Super Bowl isn’t real football. But it’s pretty close, so every girl pretends she really gives a shit about the football part of it when truthfully, she probably doesn’t. Besides, the odds that a team you are actually a fan of year-round playing in the Super Bowl aren’t in your favor. So if you don’t love football and your team isn’t playing, how much do you really care who wins?

There’s a certain stigma attached to the boy’s girl: the girl that likes beer, isn’t afraid of anything, and understands football. She’s attractive, thin–but not too skinny–and dresses simply enough to look good–but not fashionable–and attractive all the same. This girl yells at the television screen on Super Bowl Sunday, gambling away her old babysitting money on bets she swears she’ll win. She probably will win, because that’s just the way the boy’s girl works–not only does she put herself out there, but she gets away with it, too.

Guys say it’s impossible to be “just friends” with a girl. If he’s “friends” with her, he wants to sleep with her. If he’s not, then he has no interest in her at all. This is how I feel about the boy’s girl–it’s impossible for her to actually be a perfect boy’s girl. The relationship between a boy’s girl and herself is too good to be true.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a fucking feminist, I’m not a sexist, and I’ve been nurtured via the milk of liberal arts college to believe that gender is a spectrum. The masculine female and the feminine male wholeheartedly exist. I’m not saying a female can’t thoroughly enjoy football, because I’m sure she can. I don’t not enjoy football myself. But the boy’s girl is different than just a girl who likes football, and she’s too good to be true. It isn’t that she falls in love with football, but she falls in love with the idea of falling in love with football. She falls in love with herself; she’s in love with the version of herself she’s capable of becoming with just a little push–if she were to be just slightly more masculine. If she’s pretty enough/chill enough to have the boy’s girl persona become attainable, then she will grab it with both hands and step into it like it’s a Cinderella costume.

Every girl who isn’t a boy’s girl has a soft spot for girls that are. As frustrating or as fake as boy’s girls may seem, everyone wants to be one. I’m not willing to give up colored tights and dresses and my tendency to remain callously uptight in order to evolve into a boy’s girl. I think I’d rather just be me. But it would be nice, dontchya think?

The truth of the matter is that at the end of the day, girls want the same things that guys do. A girl wants a boy’s attention in the subtlest and sneakiest way possible. So, she transforms into a boy’s girl. Boys don’t think that they can be friends with girls? Well, girls think that they can be friends with boys. And that’s exactly where things get dangerous. The main difference between boys and girls is that eventually, we (girls) can coerce you (boys) into telling us how pretty you think we are, or how badly you want to “get” with us. But we’ll never give you the satisfaction that you’re willing to give us. Instead, we’ll ask you to pass the guac and the pizza and crack us open a cold one during the big game.

A boy’s girl gets away with being a boy’s girl pretty well. But don’t forget: inside, she’s still a girl.


On Facebook Stalking

facebook stalking

I’ve gotten so used to the shame that comes with Facebook stalking, I subconsciously avoid directly addressing it in posts.

Well, people, it’s time.

Facebook stalking is something everyone does. Naturally, then, there’s no reason for it not to be addressed. It is as unavoidable as me getting my period for the first time in the middle of my hiking trip during sleepaway camp–in other words, it is unavoidable as f***. If we’re all Facebook stalking, then there must be a reason why. Though the practice is mindless in itself and only requires the clicking of a mouse every couple of seconds (next photo, next photo, next photo), its significance as a contributor to the millennial persona is wholeheartedly huge.

Apparently, Facebook is a “sharing” site, though we know that isn’t true. Is sharing really sharing if it’s a one-way kinda-sorta thing? We don’t really communicate via wall post (um, excuse me, I mean timeline post) as often as Zuckerberg wants us to. In fact, if you do post on someone’s timeline, you are hard core judged by everyone else who sees it. We all have iMessage–the greatest invention since whole wheat sliced bread–and if you really wanted to speak to someone quickly and efficiently, you would text her. Nothing pisses people off more than siblings or best friends who write to each other publicly on Facebook. Clearly you already have a texting convo going, so whatever you’re writing you clearly are just writing for the sake of publicity.

We have driven Facebook off it’s given beat and path. We mock those that use it for it’s original intention. So if you aren’t stalking someone, are you doing it wrong?

In theory, Facebook stalking makes sense. We’re drawn to seeing photos of other people–especially, of course, people we know. Pictures have always intrigued us. I obviously would not have liked Madeline nearly as much if she wasn’t wearing such a cute jumper all of the time. But when we look at photos of other people on Facebook, it’s in almost no context at all. There aren’t really words to this picture book. It’s just… well… pictures.

Everyone has a few people that they focus their energy into stalking, habitually typing a name into the search box. Then there are the people you forget about until they pop up on your news feed because they were tagged in your best camp friend’s best home friend’s photo. Come Sunday mornings, we sit on the edges of our seats, anxiously awaiting the mass mupload like it’s the fricking messiah.

However, we find ourselves in knee-deep contradiction. When those whom we do not desire the stalking rights to post solo shots of themselves or even a 50-photo collection of the previous weekend’s events, we give them shit. We get annoyed. We want some to use Facebook as a canvas, and we want others to sit quietly behind a screen (as some of us stalkers might) and join in the could-be thoughts of pretty, skinny girls sipping on cranberry colored cocktails.

So when you stalk someone, are you truly engaged in learning more about her? Are we just jealous of the identities these people have created for themselves on intangible social media? Are we so unsettled in our own lives that we yearn to live vicariously through other people (no matter how many hours we spend looking through the same album of muploads repeatedly)?

Facebook makes it so damn easy for people to judge you. But don’t you want to be stalked, and not a stalk-er? Don’t you want to be judged?

They say that any publicity is good publicity. In a world of being “Facebook famous,” I guess so.


Flavor of the Week: Losing Everything

mr. forgetful

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.

i can't help that i'm 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.)

 

Images viavia


On Long Distance Relationships

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.

haha same

haha same

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. 

Image via


On Chivalry

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?


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 Texting

It seems like like everything else nowadays, there is enough assumed texting etiquette to write a New York Times style guide about it. When you admit that, does it sound ridiculous? Yes. But is it totally true? Obvious-effing-ly. So, like everything else, let’s break this baby down.

Texting is generally a self-conscious habit in many ways. It is a multi-faceted battle of the many sides of you–the side that wants to use your impeccable grammar skills and your vocabulary loaded like an M16 with bullets of memorized SAT words; the side of you that recognizes your opportunity to be casual, funny, and quirky arises when you are in the shadow of the iPhone screen. Because IRL (in real life, a crucial acronym), I am the nerdiest of spellers and those who speak, read, and write English, I used to be super anal over text message. Then one day I had an epiphany of sorts in which I realized that text was text and I was wasting precious seconds struggling to spell out “sounds like a plan” with my swollen fingers, which obviously swell whenever I eat foods too concentrated in salt. Overnight, I converted from the proper texter to the all-out ratchet texter.

Just like Cady.

Never will you see a text I compose that includes “sounds like a plan” again–SLAP is the way mothafuckas. I recycled the fourth grade jargon I was once so comfortable using on AIM. Those were the days when my profile said “Our dreams, and they are made out of real things / Like a, shoebox of photographs / With sepia-toned loving” because “Better Together” was the only Jack Johnson song I knew. I also listed the initials of my 30 close and personal friends, all of whom I was clearly very close and personal with because I had 30 of them. Right.

Now, every abbrev that u cld poss think of is used on a daily basis by moi. It’s dumb to waste time on text message when all I’m trying to figure out is which movie my best friends and I want to attend in our pajamas on any given Saturday night. Def not worth the letters.

Speaking of abbreviations, I wanted to discuss two of my faves: “haha” and “lol.” First things first–snaps to “lol” for making the comeback of the century. For real. When we were younger, it was socially acceptable to write “lol,” yet there was something about it that I didn’t find cool–I have a faint recollection of interpreting it as something boys would say, therefore making it inherently more unintelligent on the sixth grade level. I always, always, always was more of a haha-er. But in general, “lol” was the norm. After a while, however, it’s reign began to fade and everyone was just saying “haha.” “Haha” became “hahaha” and “lol” was evicted like an unemployed post grad–see ya, kiddo. Now, I use “lol” and “lolz” (OF COURSE) on the daily.

Not only is the evolution of the words we use to express laugher fascinating, but the fact that we even use words to express laughter at all is what kicks it for me. I was once told by a very well-travelled man that in Russia, no one smiles for photos. Why? Because they don’t see why anyone would fake a smile just to be recorded in a still frame if they were not smiling to begin with. Why fake happiness?

This situation, which I could write an entire post on alone, reminds me so much of the way we express laughter through the digital wall. Most of the time you write “lol,” “haha,” or whatever your preference of onomatopoeia is, you aren’t actually laughing. So why do you write it? To let the person on the other end know that you are amused, perhaps. Maybe it’s because you felt that inkling of a giggle inside you, but you just didn’t need to let it out. When I am texting with someone, and either of us finds what the other is saying to be legitimately funny, I find that we’ll always say “I’m actually laughing.”

Once, I coined the term “legit lol” for when I laughed out loud. Shouldn’t “haha” be enough? Also, whose laugh actually sounds like “haha”? And why do we feel the need to let someone know that you thought something was funny when 1) in reality, you weren’t even laughing, and 2) IRL, we don’t say “that was funny” to someone during conversation when we thought that something was funny, yet it did not make us laugh?

All throughout elementary school, I was head-over-heels in love with one guy. We would spent hours upon hours talking on AIM every night. As the hopeless romantic that I am and always have been, I would overanalyze every little word that we exchanged to either mean something fabulous or to be a sign. For example, when he told me that his favorite song was “Dirty Little Secret” by The All-American Rejects, I thought he only said that to covertly let me know that his love for me was, well, a dirty little secret. So, whenever we were ending our late-night 9pm conversation, I would always throw an “lol” in there. He probably assumed it was a mistake, that I probably meant to write it in another chat, but it wasn’t. Why? I used it to mean “lots of love.” Sneaky, wasn’t I?


On Staying Friends

“Let’s stay friends.” “You’re my best friend, and I don’t want to lose that.” “I miss having him as my friend.”

There is clearly a reason why someone put the “friend” in “boyfriend.”

In other languages, there is a single word for “male significant other.” In Spanish, it is novio. In Hebrew, it is chaver. But in English, it’s a compound word. Boy-friend. Girl-friend. English often seems to fail with its inability to be phonetic and its reputation as one of the most difficult languages to learn as a non-native speaker. Other languages have simple, direct words for phrases, human habits, and other occurrences that English does not. My favorite example of this is the Norwegian word forelsket, which explains the euphoria you experience when you are first falling in love.

Typically, English is more complicated than it needs to be. But then again, so are our relationships. When it comes to the words we use to explain the one we’re with, I think we are spot on. Boy-friend. Girl-friend.

In life, you will date many people. You will love a few. And if you are lucky, one of these relationships will last forever. Most of them will not. The possibilities of the ways that your relationships will end are endless and infinite. I’m not so old myself, yet I’ve already heard what seems to be 1,000 ways to break up. Even though we all have our own stories and secrets of how our once-lived fairytales came to a close, I believe in that in reality, there are only two ways things can end: badly, or well.

If it ends badly, then it’s obviously difficult to stay friends. If things end well–or just not so badly–then you should be able to stay friends. And unless a hellish, unforgiving act was taken by either person in the relationship, friendship (or at least mutualism, a term I learned in AP Biology but often apply to real life) should eventually occur. If you liked each other once, it seems silly that you wouldn’t like each other again. Because, in their lifetimes, humans date so many people, most relationships do not end horrifically, although I totally ruin that statistic. It would make sense that most of us should be able to stay friends. If you like someone as a human, that does not mean you would necessarily like them romantically. But if you like someone romantically, then you really should like them as a human. If not… then I don’t really know what to tell you. Maybe you’re doing it wrong.

So then why the hell is it so effing difficult to stay friends?

I’m just going to come right out and say it–the main difference between your relationship with someone when you are dating and when you are not is all the stuff with the birds and the bees, which I don’t have to delve deeply into because 1) you all know what I mean and 2) my mom reads my blog. So you take the kissin’ and the lovin’ out of your relationship, and suddenly, you stop talking. Not only do you stop talking, but you really don’t like each other. When I put it like that, doesn’t it sound kinda horrible?

If you love someone for who they are and not for what you do behind closed doors, it doesn’t seem like it should be so hard to look past whatever obstacles you faced in your relationship–given, a few weeks of personal space and separation have been taken–and enjoy each other’s presence and company as friends. And if you can’t even speak to someone after years and years of dating and months and months of silence, and the only real difference in who each of you is that you aren’t sleeping together anymore, isn’t there a huge flaw in that?

It’s a shame that recently, we’re taking the “friend” out of boyfriend. That word is in there for a reason. Isn’t it?


Flavor of the Week: Bandeaux

Yes, the plural of “bandeau” is “bandeaux,” and no, I do not have dyslexia nor think that I’m French.

Bandeaux were a brilliant invention until some sorority girls decided to wear them as shirts. Then, they became [somewhat] acceptable as crop tops, and essentially all hell broke loose. The sanctity in the ingenious purpose a bandeau was originally supposed to serve became tainted by fifty shades of neon and a hundred shades of “my high wasted shorts compensate for the fact that I’m literally wearing a bra to a social event, right?”

My freshman year of high school, I wrote a letter to myself with the intention of opening it my senior year. In it, I said, “You are wearing a colorful, beaded Free People dress, no bra (just a bandeaux).” Clearly my spelling was a little off back in the day, but my sense of sensible style was right on point.

Bandeaux are excellent for use when you are wearing a low-cut shirt (except for the fact that the newest trend after the peak of the bandeau was to wear ridiculously cut shirts with your bra just hangin’ out there to give the whole world a big hello) or, for my personal favorite purpose, when you just don’t feel like wearing a bra. You all know you love it, for comfort and for style–while everyone likes the look of “Bra!!!!!!!” no one likes the look of “Bra Straps!!!!!!”.

Bandeaux are excuses to wear a bra as a shirt or to not wear a bra at all. So if you love bras or hate bras, it’s all very win-win.


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……..)


Flavor of the Week: Chopped Salad

Ew, who eats bread anymore?

If I wanted to, I could make this post short and sweet: If you haven’t eaten chopped salad, then you haven’t lived. If you haven’t custom-made your own chopped salad, then you are not alive at all. And if you understand why chopped salad is about as trendy as Kim Kardashian’s breast milk is right now, then you are a fricking genius.

But of course, I can’t complain in just these three short sentences. So let me spell it out for you:

I adore chopped salad. It served the role of “Gay Best Friend” to me. But what I cease to comprehend is exactly why chopped salad has become such a “thing.” Salad and it’s ability to be chopped has been around since… like… ever. Yet, girls and women alike act as if suddenly someone discovered that indeed, there is a vegetable called lettuce and, holy shit, we are #blessed enough to be able to chop it into tiny pieces with a pizza slicer?????!!!!

I mean, when you put it like that… am I wrong? Does this not seem absolutely ridiculous?

#YesWeCan #DreamActBroughtToYouByChoppedSaladPlaces

Women always have and always will love to eat salad–this is not a “new” thing. So why does it seem like it? And why is salad seemingly better when it’s chopped? It’s almost as if we keep getting our baby food diet mixed up with our only-eat-things-that-are-96%-water diet. Rookie move. Get a grip, people.

Salad used to only exist as a sad, lifeless, and stationary being. It was left out on “salad bars” in the centre (yes, centre) of restaurants where it was totally exposed to the germy air and any waft of passed gas that sauntered in from the bathroom around the corner. Now, salad is respected. We gave salad back its rights like it’s 1965, baby. It is kept in a refrigerated, enclosed environment behind a counter where only trained professionals have access to its leafy loveliness.

Decades ago, our country was scattered with luncheonettes where hardworking men would get a 99-cent sandwich and fries. Today, luncheonettes have been replaced with “Creative Salad Companies,” feeding the brains of the driven women and weight-conscious homosexual men who are taking the workforce by storm. It is likely that my dissertation will one day hover around the concept of, oh, I don’t know, something along the lines of “The Rise Of Chopped Salad As A Lunch And/Or Dinner Food Is Definitely Like 100% Linked To The Fact That Women Are Better Respected In Society And Are Taking Over The World In A Great Way.” It’s just a working thought, you know?


Flavor of the Week: Ailsa Anderson

Who is Ailsa Anderson?

If you don’t know this, then you don’t know The Royals. And if you don’t know The Royals, then you don’t know me. So preppy teenaged girls who thought they were bigger groupies to Prince William than any token Belieber is to J. Biebs has got it all wrong. Turn around now, honeys. You may have won the battle by hosting a viewing party of the royal wedding, but you lost the war by not knowing Ailsa. You’ve gotta know Ailsa.

Ailsa Anderson is the babe who placed the obviously-framed royal birth announcement upon its golden easel that, in British terms, probably cost about as much as it did to fix Austin Powers’ teeth. Only a loyal servant to the Queen (not referring to Beyoncé this time) would have this honor–oh, yes, the dutiful honor of placing a frame upon an easel–bestowed upon her.

Ailsa is no ordinary civilian, however. She’s actually part of Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II’s mothaf****’ clique. She started from the bottom now she’s here. Ailsa’s title is “press secretary,” and is one of the three woman that the Queen surrounds herself with each and every royal day of her royal life. Because the Queen ain’t no queen without a possé, amirite?

According to PEOPLE.com, “Living in the home counties just northwest of London, [Ailsa] likes to shop for clothes at the designer outlet stores at Bicester Villlage (where Kate has been known to visit) and has a nose for a good deal. ‘She’s great at sussing out the good bargains in sales,’ says a friend.” So, basically, we love her.

Ailsa sported a sick snakeskin pencil skirt with a pearl cropped jacket and three-inch heels to make the birth announcement. We love you Ailsa, because you’re a champ. Keep it up girlfriend.


Flavor of the Week: Stuff Girls Like

As you may or may not know, The Fro-Yo Diaries is a member of the Her Campus Blogger Network, “a curated network of blogs written by women ages 13-30 on fashion, beauty, cooking, fitness, design, lifestyle, and more” (HerCampus.com). So since we’re BFFs with Her Campus, I wanted to spread the word about a trendy gathering known as the National Intercollegiette Conference 2013. This really long title is referring to July 27th and 28th, two days in NYC in which college babes from all across the country are welcome to come and join Her Campus for tons of lectures (with super legit speakers from Cosmo, Huff Post, Glamour,  Lucky, etc.), workshops, and opportunities to network/schmooze.

Her Campus teamed up with a bunch of sponsors that all sell stuff that girls like. To fill you in on the sponsors, I figured I would go through the list and tell you what you like about them. Because I know, obviously.

Chipotle

Girls like Chipotle because it’s fast food that you can get away with muploading without looking gross/fat/sumo/etc. but still having people question “How does she eat that but stay so thin????!!!!”

Brenae is one of these girls.

Luna

Girls like Luna bars because they taste amazing and are perfect for those of us that are not psycho enough to juice cleanse but are still interested in meal replacement with things like protein bars, fro-yo, and fro-yo.

Woodbury Common Premium Outlets

Girls like Woodbury because how can they not?

LeSportsac

Girls like LeSportsac because if you never had a LeSportsac, did you really ever go to middle school?

Veet

Girls like Veet because when they’re eight years old and Jewish, they think the amount of leg hair they have is enough to make a small fur coat for a mouse.

You can sign up for the National Intercollegiette Conference by clicking here. HC love! And remember to bring your Veet!


On Facebook, Your Boyfriend, And You

At any given point in time, I have two boyfriends. The first is a guy that I’m convincing myself is my boyfriend/is actually my boyfriend. The second is Facebook. And, to put it bluntly, Facebook is a slut.

If you think it’s bad that I have two boyfriends, then get a load of this: Facebook has 1.11 billion sexually active partners. They say that it takes two to tango. Exactly–it takes a medium of social media and a real-life guy to turn our lives from a cute sushi date into a swarming dance full of Instragrammed spicy tuna rolls, muploaded selfies, an infinite amount of “are you a thing?” texts post-mupload, a nervously sweating Jewish girl, and a boy who isn’t sure if all of this attention is worth the amount of ass he’ll get later that night.

After hearing one too many witness account of relationships gone awry both on and because of Facebook, I realized that the inevitable would have to take place. We need to lay down some laws before this town ain’t big enough for the both of us–err, all three of us. Facebook, Boyfriend: it’s time we have a little chat.

It all starts with a mupload. That single, blurry picture from some Saturday night not too long ago. Here’s how this works: if a girl is with a guy and she wants people to know about it, she’ll make sure people know about it. Hence, one picture is added and tagged. The unspoken rule: you can never mupload the first photo of you and Boyfriend. Then, everyone knows how hard you’re trying, and even though everyone knows how hard you’re trying no matter who posts that photo, it’s still the sheer principle of it that causes your best friend to be the one to mup. Obviously the best friend will do the first mup, because you told her to. You probably even sent her the photo from your phone to mupload. Right?

Time passes, and things aren’t what you’d call serious, but things are… things. This is where the tension between you and Facebook builds high enough to split the fibers of a Louis Vuitton bag. You have so many questions you want to ask Facebook, but you don’t know how they’ll make Boyfriend feel. When/is it socially acceptable to make your profile picture one of you and Boyfriend? What about your “relationship status?”

When we were younger–like, middle school younger–I thought that “relationship status” meant everything. Whenever a friend would tell me about a guy, the first question was always the same: “Is it Facebook official?” Facebook was like the evil eye of relationships. It saw everything, all the time, yet acted as a source of protection from insecurities about labels. As I’ve grown to accept the hook up culture that I live in, I learned that no, two girls “in a relationship” on Facebook are not lesbians (99% of the time), I don’t need to publicly list to “friends of friends” that I’m “interested in men” in order to feel “normal,” and, generally, labels on relationships no longer exist. I used to think that labeled relationships made things more mature and valid. Ironically for me, I had it all backwards. If your feelings say it all, then you no longer have a need to prove your relationship to yourself or to anyone else. It exists, and suddenly, that becomes enough.

Should you make your relationship Facebook official? If you want to, go ahead. But if you break up, it effing sucks because it’s public as hell (been there, done that).

Next topic: Facebook offers you a single private space to be yourself–alas, the profile picture. Are you willing to share that space with someone else? In this verse of the Love Triangle Bible, I say go right ahead. However, there are guidelines. If you’re more into the relationship than he is: DON’T. If you’re definitely a thing, basically boyfriend/girlfriend/whatever, and people approve of you as a couple, AND you look amaze in the photo: DO. If you’re been together for a really long time and everyone is rooting for you to get married and have minimum five kids: DO, but with caution. Because if you break up… SGA (shit got awk).

I have a friend that is going through a mutual break up in the upcoming month. In addition, her current profile photo is one of her and her boyfriend. At a recent dinner she told me that she needed to take a ton of pictures in hopes of finding a new profile photo–one that she could change now so that when she and Boyfriend broke up, things wouldn’t be as obvious and public.

I appreciate the depth of her social media cues and I respect her break up intelligence. At the same time, this makes me sad that we feel the need to balance Facebook with Boyfriend 24/7. We should be grieving over lost love, not worrying about what Facebook will make of it. When she goes through her split, things will suck. And no matter how much they do, Facebook will still be there. While we’ve done away with the bullshit from Boyfriend, we are not through with Facebook. We will never be. We could never break up with him, no matter how we tried.


On Plus Sized Modeling

The topic of plus sized modeling does not come up as often in conversation amongst my friends nearly as much as I read about it, hear about it, and see it on the news. In fact, the topic never comes up at all. We don’t even talk about modeling much except for those few terrible, terrible weeks before and after the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, which isn’t a real fashion show (Coco Chanel is turning in her grave) and is more of a telecasted porno. The only difference between that and an X-rated flick is that teenage girls become anorexic rather than nauseas.

Glorified events like the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show bring Regina George-style attention to these models. Some of it’s negative, but more of it’s positive. The negative attention is along the likes of “they’re too skinny,” “they need to eat,” and “someone please give this girl some non non-fat fro-yo.” When stick-thin models are put to shame, the media begins to bow down to plus-sized models like they’re big because they ate a little piece of God while they were still in the womb. I’ve read countless online articles from major and reliable news sources that solely focus on praising size 12 models for being beautiful and doing their thing regardless of their size. Plus sized models are applauded for representing the average woman.

As someone who has been pretty average her whole life–I did away with any shot of having a Victoria’s Secret body by the first grade–I have no right to look down upon plus sized models. While it is important to stay healthy and fit, most runway models look seriously malnourished. I appreciate their dedication to things like kale and hunger strikes but I also think that it makes me feel bad about the way that I look.

SCAN0122

My 6th birthday party. Me = pregnant Kim Kardashian, Athletic Best Friend = Amanda Bynes (after she moved to NYC and decided to become 100 lbs., duh).

I don’t know for sure how I feel about plus sized modeling versus skeleton modeling (seeing as either example will never in a million years indicate how certain clothing will actually look on my body). However, as always, I have a lot to say.

To, primarily, address the elephant in the room (no pun intended, but I’ll go with it), does plus sized modeling encourage an unhealthy lifestyle? Does it give out the message that it is “OK” to look like that? I don’t know the answer. I obviously am just asking rhetorical questions to add depth to the essay. But if I did know the answer, I would say it. I wish I did.

How rude would it be if we totally cut out plus sized modeling from the industry? It’s comparable to stopping the sale of plus sized clothing–everyone has a right to buy clothing their size (assuming there are some people that you just never want to see naked) so then everyone should have the right to see someone their size wearing clothing their size. Under that logic, I am a proponent of the plus.

The most interesting thing about this entire debate to me is this: is it bad that I’m even questioning this topic to begin with? Am I living proof of our warped society for questioning the legitimacy of plus sized models? Our country is at war. Half of the people are complaining about the need to make girls feel empowered about who they are, as they are, and the other half is trying to battle a growing childhood obesity problem one carb-cutting lunch law at a time.

But then again, I could have it all backwards. Is it possible?–could we all be so obsessed with curing modern America from its romance with thigh gaps that the passion for a little chunk here and there is too fervent? It’s like going along with a movement not because you’re so invested in what the movement believes, but because you’re so against whatever the opponent has to say. Some feminists out there decided to get as far away from supporting super-thin models as possible. So, now, they support super-fat ones. Why? Not because they like the larger models, but because they dislike the thinner ones.

Well, after an hour of writing and a whole adolescence of thinking, I’m going to make my own movement. It’s called The I-wish-no-one-cared-about-what-anyone-else-thought Movement. I wish I could say that maybe one day, that will actually exist. I wish that I knew what we were supposed to look like. But for now, it looks like we’re only moving further and further in the opposite direction–the direction in which, ironically, the fight for staying thin and the fight for being anti-thin both lie.


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


On Attraction

There are many upsides and many downsides to having more than half of your friends be guys. An example of a downside would be last night, when I had seven of them over for dinner and I spent a solid twenty minutes making a beautiful salad, which only one of them put on his plate. When you don’t have anyone to share the experience of a good salad with, things get rough. An example of an upside is that when they’ve finished eating, they are each willing to take his own plate and bring it into the kitchen without so much as a single complaint. And, to top it off, they have excellent manners.

Another large upside is that boys generally tell it like it is. So when I went out to breakfast with one of my closest guy friends this morning, he not only told it “like it is.” He told it “like it is,” and a whole lot more.

I asked him if he’d rather be really tall and fat, or really tall and really thin. First, we agreed that there are definitely pros and cons to each situation. I couldn’t really decide which I would rather be. But before the conversation extended any further, he said something that caught my attention.

“Well, I’d think you’d rather be tall and thin, right?”

Tall and thin?! Why would anybody in their right mind ever, ever, ever want to be tall and thin????!!!!!

My immediate reaction to his assumption was “What?” The certainty with which he made that statement was with utmost confidence. But when I stopped and thought about it for a second, I realized where he was going. “You’re right,” I came to admittance. “I would, actually, definitely rather be tall and thin.”

His response summed it all up for me: “Of course you would. Because you’re a girl.”

Before I continue to dive deeper into our conversation, I want to address the fact that right now, you’re all probably thinking, “Of course she’d rather be thin. Who doesn’t want to be thin, even if you’re tall enough to be the lovechild of Yao Ming and Khloe Kardashian, the trademark giant, you would still rather be thin than be fat.” Let me defend my thinking—I imagined that being tall and fat would make someone more proportional, and perhaps one would prefer to look proportional than they would to look like a malnourished Kenyan child on stilts.

Getting back to the story: I asked him what he would prefer to look like, and he said to me, “It doesn’t really matter. I don’t think it really matters for guys.”

“Why’s that?” I asked.

“Because guys can get girls either way. Girls look more into guys than guys into girls.” Although it seems obvious when I say it out loud, in the moment, I was shocked. I could not get over how true that statement was. He continued:

“Some girls like guys who are funny, some girls like athletic guys. Appearance doesn’t matter as much for girls.”

Just when you thought that there couldn’t be enough materialistic betches in the tri-state area, my lovely male friend made us seem that more down-to-earth. Who would’ve thought? Girls care about what’s on the outside, but sometimes, we care about what’s on the inside, too. To state it factually, a guy’s “success rate,” as I’ll call it, does not depend as much upon his appearance as a girl does. Hmm… this could mean a lot of things. This could go a lot of places.

Maybe we don’t give ourselves enough credit for being things like “deep” and “caring” and “emotional” and “sympathetic” and “grateful” (yeah effin’ right). Or, maybe we’re just that easy—so easy that we will fling ourselves at any guy. If you spin it that way, it sounds like we lack self-respect for not ensuring that we are with the most attractive of men. Or maybe we have self-respect for caring about what’s inside and not letting ourselves be with very, very, very attractive assholes (even though obviously we are all with very, very, very attractive assholes at least once in our lives… it’s like a frickin’ right of passage).

According to my friend’s dogma of attraction, guys have an easier time getting girls because they don’t consider personality like we do. If you look the part, you have the part. Done and done. That means that it isn’t necessarily difficult for girls to get guys. Instead, it’s difficult for girls to find, and get, the guys they want. That’s why our “success rate” is lower—because we make it that way. Not because we don’t have game, because you know that we do.

If you’re a funny guy, we like you because you’re funny. OK, fine. Maybe it’s because you’re Jewish and you’re funny. If you’re an attractive guy, we probably like you because you’re attractive. Maybe you’re funny too, but that’s rare. It’s more likely that you think you’re funny. And if we decide that we want to be with you, be happy that we did.

 


Flavor of the Week: Kale

Sometimes, people are so desperate for trendiness that they’ll turn something as mundane as a vegetable and make it a “thing.” Well, my friends, this is what happened to kale. Kale used to be a nobody, sitting lonely on gourmet supermarket shelves, only purchased by the small Chinese grandfather who knew the magical powers of this leafy green from his ancestors and his small dragon friend/spirit guardian, Mushu.

Mushu is psyched about kale.

Once, someone who is either a really ano Jewish girl or the Hollywood trainer Harley Pasternak (who bears no relation to me whatsoever) discovered kale from the rich soil of our earth. And, upon realizing its great qualities–hello, negative calories–turned kale into a staple of the skinny. Not only is kale both an edible and a drinkable, shout out to green juice, but it is also a way of life.

I decided to google “quotes about kale” to see if I could find something spunky to include. Instead of finding a few interesting quotes, I found a lot of psychos that are literally obsessed with kale. Like, I cannot even. Psychos.

I stumbled upon this charm: a blog called “365 Days of Kale: Where Kale is More Than Decoration on My Plate!” My first reaction? What the literal…

Screen shot 2013-06-26 at 5.31.47 PM

This is my favorite post on 365 because it contains a photo of Ryan Gosling holding a head of kale.

Obviously, this woman got her kale confused with her kush.

During my research, I found this in breaking news on ecorazzi.com: “The Green Quote: Vegan Singer Alanis Morissette Is Obsessed With Kale.” Really? No effin way?!?!?! Send that shiz to CNN stat. I’m sure you’re dying to find out what Alanis Morissette has to say about kale–“It’s like rain on your wedding day.” JK LOLZ, kale is ironic, but more in the trendy way than in the 90’s pop way (you will only understand this if you know Alanis Morrisette’s hits like any good Canadian lesbian would). But she actually did say this: “Kale is my best friend.” Cute.

Kale is like one of those things that people love to talk about because they want everyone to know how obsessed they are with kale. Once, I was with someone who wasn’t particularly in good shape and she was eating steamed kale. She could not stop gushing to be about how obsessed she was with it. It’s like great, good for you, you love kale. But I’m pretty sure that she thought talking about something like kale so much would make her lose weight, and it really didn’t.

I would not be surprised if somewhere in a white loft office space in LA a bunch of really skinny beautiful people who go to Soul Cycle a lot are conjuring up kale fro-yo. Just wait. Seriously.


On Change

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.

This is not OK on so many levels.

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.

I guess if you have enough money, you can do anything. So sure, you can repeat the past, whatever.

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.


On the Importance of Intelligent Boyfriends

Last week at lunch with a friend, I was discussing the nitty, gritty details of the status of my current love life. When you talk about boys with a friend, the conversation can always be sure to lead in many different directions–what we like about them, what we don’t, who they are, who we wish they would be. This last clause got me thinking about the minor qualities boys have that make them come up a little short (pun somewhat intended).

Each girl has, in her mind, a specific list of what she likes about boys in a particular order. First, the list is catalogued by category. For example, first could be height, second attractiveness, third quality of humor. But then, she will within each category have another ordered list of preference. If the most important quality to her is height, then she will either prefer shorter guys or prefer taller guys. This list will appear in a different order in everyone’s mind. So while two girls may both prefer taller guys, the importance of height in general could be absolutely key to one and totally irrelevant to the other. I really hope you’re hearing me here. I’m aware of how ridiculous I may sound.

Height never bothered these two lovebirds. Very chic use of metallic, boys.

The one category out of the many existing (there are hundreds, of course) that my friend and I discussed over seared tuna salads was intelligence. Recently, a close, and very smart, male friend of mine told me that he always imagined me “ending up with someone very intelligent.” Because of the circumstances in which he divulged this intriguing comment (sitting outside of a fairly large party, surrounded by a group of people loudly socializing with red solo cups), I didn’t take it to much heart upon its release from his mind into the real world. A few weeks later, however, I found that I couldn’t stop thinking about that comment. What does it say about me that he thinks I should be with someone of high intellectual ability? What does it say about what he thinks of me? And, most importantly, how crucial should it be that we have smart boyfriends? 

I feel like this could go all the way back to the early 1900s in the era of Elizabeth Cady Stantons and Susan B. Anthonys. If we truly believe that, modernly, there is no need to conform to traditional gender roles within male-female relationships, then I wouldn’t even have this question. Technically, it shouldn’t matter if my boyfriend was smarter than or was as smart as me because it would be absolutely fabulous if I, being the female, was the breadwinner while my trophy husband stayed home and compared strollers with the Irish au pair next door. I often consider myself to be a pseudo-feminist that appreciates a relationship of reversed roles. However, when I found myself seriously questioning exactly how smart any boyfriend of mine should be, I realized that the traditional “couple” stereotype still, naturally, exists. At lunch, my friend and I both admitted it–we want smart husbands. Sorry, Elizabeth.

Boo, you whore.

After our discussion of my guy friend’s comment at the party, and our admittance that we are not as feminist as we once thought we were, I put the big question out there… should it bother me if I’m ever smarter than someone I’m with? I automatically  backtracked to every boy I had ever liked (whether the feeling was mutual or was not) and thought about just how smart he was. Her response was quick, and, in my opinion, wildly brilliant: “Well, now you’re asking something bigger,” she said. “How do you define ‘smart?’

Men, as confusing and complex as they are, can be smart in many different ways. Some babes may be impressed when their guy can speak about football for three hours minimum. I’m not this type of girl. I’m much more impressed when I have a male friend over who is able to survive a philosophical, intellectually-stimulating conversation without sounding stupid. It is not hard to keep a conversation going when you’re talking to a lot of Jewish people; it is difficult, however, to sound like you have an interesting/intelligent opinion every time you open your mouth.

I think that I consider someone “smart” to be someone who is not only good at participating in discussions about current events, societal theories, whatever is “in style,” and historical happenings but, in addition, enjoys these conversations. Then again, I also am interested in having a boyfriend that is willing to go shopping with me and will not make me feel fat when he takes me for fro-yo but then doesn’t get any himself. That is rude, obviously. I think smartness can be measured in a multitude of ways. What it comes down to, I believe, is how he handles a relationship. This can possibly gauge more light on his level of intelligence than anything else. Lying is dumb (it never works in your favor, buddy), ignoring me is dumb (if you feel the need to ignore someone, you shouldn’t be dating her), and taking someone else’s side is dumb (you don’t always have to agree in a relationship, but you always have to be a team). I hope I don’t sound too high maintenance. I don’t sound too high maintenance, right?

So, boys, as the female race, this is all we’re looking for. It’s not too much to ask. Really.