The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I’m seeing a trend in my guest blogging life: To write for websites/blogs that revolve around a topic I know very little about. It started with my guest post for Kandice Pelletier Swimwear a few months ago. (Bikini modeling isn’t really my forte…shocking coming from a girl who eats a block of cheese on the reg, I know). And now, the up-and-coming NYC fashion blog, Ashli with an Eye, published some words of mine. I love clothes and like to think I know what looks decent/stylish, but I really have no right to be on a fashion blog. Definitely not mad about it, though! Plus I didn’t actually write about fashion, so don’t worry.

Please enjoy my guest blog on Ashli with an Eye about why Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year!

CLICK HERE TO READ THE POST

merry christmas

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10 Popular Christmas Songs Written by Someone Drunk on Eggnog

I love Christmas, I love songs, and I love wine gin and tonics martinis eggnog. Put them all together and this is what you get:

  1. I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

Hands down, my favorite Christmas song of all time. When I get wine drunk and make up songs with myself friends, they are pretty much exactly like IWAHFC (that abbrev rolls right off the tongue, no?). This song keeps my dreams of being a songwriter alive and well.

Favorite lyrics:

There’s lots of room for him
In our two car garage
I’d feed him there
And wash him there
And give him his massage

—–

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus will do
No crocodiles
Or rhinoceroses-es
I only like hippopotamuses-es
And hippopotamuses like me too

Couldn’t decide on just one stanza…this song is just too amazing. A massage for the hippo. Yes. And addressing the fact that pronouncing the plural of any noun ending in “s” is downright impossible. Thank you.

hippopotamus for christmas

  1. The Twelve Days of Christmas

I know I’m not the only one to question the lyrics of this song. First of all, pears are top two most obscure fruits, next to elderberries. Also, any time “milking” is used in a song, you know the lyricist was not completely sober.

Favorite lyrics:

On the fifth day of Christmas
my true love gave to me:
Five Golden Rings

Because belting “five golden rings” like you’re the richest person in the world is the highlight of any sing along.

  1. Frosty the Snowman

I feel like I can kind of relate to whoever wrote Frosty the Snowman because obviously he was drinking alone and just needed a friend. The holidays do not cater to singles. Luckily for this guy, though, everyone was like, “You know what, an imaginary snowman friend actually sounds awesome,” and the writer was pegged as creative instead of sad. I wonder how he’s doing (the writer, not Frosty).

Favorite lyrics:

thumpity thump thump
thumpity thump thump
Look at Frosty go
thumpity thump thump
thumpity thump thump
Over the hills of snow

One of the saddest stanzas ever written.

  1. Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer

This song is so warped and hilarious. Why it’s famous, I’ll never understand, other than the fact that evidently our nation can bond over really messed up humor. I LOL every time I hear it, so no judgment from my end.

Favorite lyrics:

It’s not Christmas without Grandma
All the family’s dressed in black
And we just can’t help but wonder
Should we open up her gifts or send them back?

Rudest/most honest family ever.

  1. Feliz Navidad

“Feliz Navidad” is the only Spanish phrase unilingual, basic white folks know,  so naturally, I’m obsessed with the song and always sing it with the most authentic Spanish accent I can muster. The melody is so joyful, too! Going out on a limb here, but I feel like this was written by a group of friends just bopping around their living room having a drunken good time.

Favorite lyrics:

Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Prospero año y Felicidad.
I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
From the bottom of my heart.

That’s literally the entire song.

  1. Santa Baby

The concept is so weird. A cougar with just enough too much Malbec in her system, if you ask me. Ten more years and I might be into it.

Favorite lyrics:

Santa baby, forgot to mention one little thing… A ring…
I don’t mean on the phone; Santa baby,
So hurry down the chimney tonight

Calm down, girl. So thirsty.

  1. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause

If this were a true story, that child would be scarred for life. Which brings me to this question: Was this lyricist imagining himself as Santa? Was this some sort of fantasy for him? I don’t know and I don’t think I want to. I sense that the writer put tequila or something very wrong in his eggnog.

Favorite lyircs:

Then I saw mommy tickle Santa Claus
Underneath his beard so snowy white

This does not give me the warm and fuzzies.

  1. Marshmallow World

Just like me last Saturday night, this writer was clearly on a food binge in the middle of the night after getting home from a holiday party with an open bar.

Favorite lyrics:

It’s a marshmallow world in the winter
When the snow comes to cover the ground
It’s the time for play, it’s a whipped cream day
I wait for it the whole year round.

Who doesn’t love a song relating anything and everything to munchies?

  1. All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth

I know it’s kind of a cute song, but keep in mind that a child did not write it. Two tired parents drinking eggnog while making fun of their kid. That’s who wrote it.

Favorite lyrics:

It seems so long since I could say, 
“Sister Susie sitting on a thistle!”

I’m sure they laughed so hard after coming up with that one.

  1. Deck the Halls

I’m sorry, but no song with lyrics that are 80% “falalalalalalala” was written without the influence of alcohol. Can’t get around that fact, despite how classic the song.

Favorite lyrics:

Deck the halls with boughs of holly,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Tis’ the season to be jolly,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Such happy drunks! Love them!

not funt to be sober

 

There you have it, a fantastic holiday playlist. Merry Christmas, boys and girls!

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Pure Barre: A Detailed Account of What to Expect

I’m not really one for fitness crazes. Mostly because they’re expensive, and I figure between the elliptical and lifting cases of wine the occasional weight, I look decent enough to land a few dates and am healthy enough to keep my primary care physician satisfied. Shoot for the stars.

Inspiring body transformations referencing CrossFit, Pilates, Bikram Yoga, and the like have flooded my newsfeeds for years, always tempting me to give them a try, but I can never justify the couple hundred bucks a month. Plus I keep the full length mirror in my bedroom at a slight tilt so that I look roughly 5-10lbs skinnier than I actually am. Mind tricks are the best. Especially when I play them on my own mind. Anyway, I never thought the day would come when I’d sign up for a particular fitness regimen, but lo and behold, that day was December 1, 2014! Thanks to a well-advertised holiday discount and disgust with my post-Thanksgiving Pillsbury Doughboy body, you’re looking at reading the blog of the newest member of the Pure Barre family. LTB, girls! [Lift, Tone, Burn. Just clarifying.]

Pure Barre aims to give women (or men, if you’re into it) long, lean dancer muscles. They use a ballet bar, among other things, to help you perform isometric movements aimed at fatiguing your muscles in a low-impact, high-results kind of way. The goal is to end up looking like Misty Copeland:

misty copeland

Shouldn’t be a problem.

So I signed up. Step one. The real test was attending my very first class. Let me tell you about it.

I walked into the small studio in the heart of Clarendon, the neighborhood in Arlington, VA where all good-looking, young professionals gather to eat, drink, and/or reside. Not much to my surprise, the lobby was full of teeny, toned girls in athletic leggings and racer back tops, casually stuffing their UGG boots into cubbies (the class is socks-only) before entering the workout room. Ignoring the voice in my head telling me to run far, far away, I told the girl behind the front desk that this was my first class. She had me sign a waiver and deposit my belongings and UGGs (I got one thing right!) in a cubby, then led me into the studio. She handed me exactly one little red bouncy ball, one resistance band, and two 2lb weights, then offered a few words of instruction and well-wishes before setting me free to find a seat on the floor among the Blake Lively and Audrina Patridge lookalikes. Fun!

The first three hours two minutes of class were a blur, but I think they involved a lot of miniature pelvic thrusts, leg lifts, and an Ellie Golding song. I was already sweating more than the time I made it three whole feet off the ground during rope climb in fourth grade, but the tiny blonde instructor wearing a backless top and perfectly-executed half up messy bun proceeded to announce that it was time for the “first real challenge of class.” Oh, this should be good. And then came the planks. I’m still not ready to talk about it.

Next, we were instructed to take the little red bouncy ball and put it between our upper thighs. That part, I actually really liked, primarily because scanning a room full of beautiful young women who each look like they just laid an oversized egg is top notch entertainment. I also pictured a guy accidentally walking into the room at that very moment and almost giggled out loud. The things women do for a respectable thigh gap. My entertainment was short-lived, however, because soon we were lining the walls of the room at the ballet bars, on our tip toes with our legs bent and our butts squeezed. This looks as funny as it sounds and hurts even worse. It wasn’t long before I started shaking so uncontrollably that I undoubtedly made the girl behind me immensely uncomfortable. Would she definitely notice, you ask? Yes. We were one foot apart in a single file line, and as we squeezed our little butt cheeks together while making baby circles with our hips, I had nowhere to look besides at the derriere of the young lady directly in front of me. I never thought you could become numb to watching another person’s butt clench repeatedly, but somehow, it stopped feeling like a violation of her privacy after a minute or two. This is how I knew that the girl behind me had a front and center view of all things happening to my twitching, clenching, and shaking body. Sorry ‘bout that.

Then we got to stretch in the center of the room. Oh! It feels so good! Wait, why is it already over? That was literally two seconds. No, I don’t want to go back to the bar. Please? Fine, but only because I want my butt to look amazing.

Round two at the bar included something quite similar to this move:

PureBarre leg

Looks easy, right? Wrong. If you think my right leg was anywhere near straight or lifted even remotely close to the bar, you are wildly overestimating my core strength and flexibility. And the left leg pointed in front of me? You think that sucker was easily hovering an inch off the ground? Not happening. I looked around the room and saw one girl who resembled the above picture. You. You are the reason I don’t have a boyfriend.

I noticed that the instructor- we’ll call her Quinn because I like that name and she looked like a Quinn- dimmed the lights a notch lower every 15 minutes or so. I wasn’t sure about the point of that, but I was strongly in favor of anything that detracted from my shaking limbs. The darker the better. Like my men. HAH! I’m kidding you guys…or am I? [Sorry, I’m pretty hyped up on holiday chocolates right now.]

Back to regularly scheduled programming: Pure Barre. By the end of class, we were doing an ab workout in complete darkness. It was unconventional, freeing, and strangely motivating. I could make as many ridiculous faces as I wanted while crunching with my hands outstretched in front of me and my legs in a contorted V above me. Frankly, I would’ve been just fine if the whole class was done in pitch black, but Quinn didn’t pass around any suggestion cards as we filed back into the lobby to retrieve our UGGs.

As I made my way to Trader Joe’s, where I left my car because they validate my parking stub if I buy something (a $5 bottle of wine is a much better use of my money than $8 for random garage parking…my life doesn’t revolve around wine, I swear), I decided that despite the feeling that I’d never be able to walk normally again, I’m going to go three times a week for this entire month. Truth be told, I’m pretty excited to see the progress, because there’s really nowhere to go but up. And who knows? Maybe I’ll become friends with some of the hottie patotties in class! They all actually seemed super normal and nice. I even saw one other girl from class buying a bottle of wine at Trader Joe’s afterwards, so she has serious potential.

Between Pure Barre starting now and No Drink January right around the corner, I’m thinking this may be the best February bod I’ve ever had! Which is obviously a great month to have a rockin’ body. Since we’ll be completely bundled in jackets and all.

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25 Questions You Ask Yourself During Thanksgiving Dinner

As much as I’m grateful for family, freedom, and oversized sweaters, I know most of you have reached your limit when it comes to reading “I’m thankful for…” lists. Instead, I present to you 25 questions I asked myself during Thanksgiving dinner last night. I know the title of this post is misleading because I said “25 Questions You Ask Yourself…” instead of “25 Questions I Ask Myself…,” but I’m just really hoping that some of these thoughts crossed your mind, too, so that I don’t feel as alone in my weirdness.

  1. Does my body have white meat and dark meat just like turkeys?
  2. Does thinking about that make me a cannibal?
  3. Was the glossy jello consistency of canned cranberries originally a cooking mistake turned accidental invention?
  4. How can I best separate the mounds of sweet potato casserole and mashed potatoes on my plate so that people can’t tell that I’m mostly only eating potatoes?
  5. Why don’t green beans make your pee smell, but asparagus does?
  6. Is stuffing essentially squares of French toast that are savory instead of sweet?
  7. Does that make stuffing breakfast food?
  8. How much wine can I drink before non-drinking relatives notice that I’m no longer on my first glass?
  9. Are jeans actually better Thanksgiving pants than leggings since they don’t have a tight band around the waist?
  10. Should I stop eating since I just had to ask myself about Thanksgiving pants?
  11. How much weight can you gain in one 24 hour period?
  12. Children stop eating when they’re full…so at what age do we keep eating just because it tastes good?
  13. Does thinking about weight at the Thanksgiving table make me a bad American?
  14. Were there obese pilgrims?
  15. Do pies have to be round?
  16. Is the shape of pies a secret marketing tool by crust companies because studies show people eat more if something is round?
  17. How much of the pumpkin pie is actually made from pumpkins?
  18. Do I literally have an invisible second stomach for dessert?
  19. Could Hercules make whipped cream from skim milk?hercules
  20. What is the breaking point between eating so much you feel sick and being one of those people whose stomach actually ruptures?
  21. Does the hospital actually have an influx of ruptured stomach cases on Thanksgiving?
  22. Would I be too afraid to ever eat again if my stomach ruptured, and therefore ultimately lose weight?
  23. How can people even think about going shopping for clothes on Black Friday?
  24. Is Black Friday a politically correct term?
  25. Should I blame the wine or the tryptophan for why my mind is like this?

Don’t judge me.

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15 Gross Words

Yesterday, I asked my coworker how she prepares her spaghetti squash, and she made the horrific decision to use the phrase “flake it off” in her description. [Any food bloggers reading this need to create a Taylor Swift parody called “Flake it Off” immediately. This is me officially signing over the rights to that idea.] Although my coworker was trying to be helpful with her mini-culinary lesson, her use of the word “flake” brought my appetite to a screeching halt. This got me thinking…what other words make my stomach try to reenact a Gabby Douglas floor routine? See list below. No, “moist” is not included. Call me crazy, but I actually think moist cake sounds delicious.

1. Flaky- Dry skin shedding from one’s body. Like dandruff. Sick. [I couldn’t very well leave off the inspiration for this post.]

2. Crusty- That crumpled shirt on your floor with dried food on it. Or worse, unwashed underw— excuse me, I just vomited.

3. Pasta- It’s such a slimy word. Passssttaaa. I mean, I love it, but just don’t love the word.

pasta

4. Slather- Slytherin. Snakes. Scales. Greasy scales.

5. Sauce- Inevitably makes me think “secret sauce,” which is probably a tangy recipe filled with pig’s blood, camel intestines, and ranch dressing.

6. Kernel- Honestly, does a kernel of anything sound appealing to you?

7. Pregnant- Let’s stick as many ugly consonants into one word as we can. I also just imagine feeling bloated for 9 months, and that makes me want to cry.

8. Swollen- I don’t like S’s or W’s or L’s, and this word has all three. Also, the aforementioned bloated thing.

9. Ointment- I have an issue with the sound of “oin.” Couldn’t we just called it “soothing cream” or something?

10. Blanch- Say it outloud. Blanch.

11. Fluffy- Some of you think of baby animals or croissants, but I think of puffy fat. I don’t know why.

12. Spongey- N’s should never be paired with soft G’s. Also, sponges are the dirtiest things ever.

13. Quail- I just think of nasty old rotten eggs. And birds in general kind of gross me out.

14. Mustache- It’s an unpleasant word paired with unpleasant imagery.

15. Loin- Again with the “oin” issue. This time we have to think of a male’s meaty upper thigh area, too. Great.

Fabio-loincloth

Try and be creative with your replacements for these words next time we chat. For instance, instead of saying, “Shanny, would you like to join my pregnant sister and me for some pasta slathered in sauce, followed by fluffy spongecake for dessert? And wait until you see my brother’s mustache for Movember. It’s so crusty. Also, could you help me put some ointment on my swollen ankle?”- why don’t you try, “Shanny, would you like to join my sister (her baby bump is so big, btw!) and me for some spagoots and yummy cake? And wait until you see my brother- he hasn’t shaved in almost a month. He looks ridiculous. Also, could you help me put some soothing cream on my sprained ankle?(<–who would ask that?)” It’s not that hard, people. Help a sister out.

 

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Is Caring Too Much a Thing?

There’s a fine line between excessively sympathetic and emotionally unstable. A fine, fine line. [Cue song]

*I sang this little ditty at my first showcase in NYC (2011). This video of me is for entertainment purposes only and really has nothing to do with the rest of this post.

 

Let me tell you a story. Last week, a young lady strolled into Safeway grocery store to buy quinoa (keen-wah), chicken, mushrooms, and asparagus for dinner. She may or may not have been trying to be healthy in order to lose the 3lbs she’d gained in a single weekend from binging on potato chips and Velveeta Shells & Cheese, but who knows. After rounding up the goods, she approached the nearest checkout aisle, which occupied a teenage boy cashier of Asian heritage. His skin was a pale grayish color, his lips were swollen, his hands were red and cracking, and his ears had painful-looking scabs from whatever skin condition plagued him. Briefly forgetting her hanger (<– click for definition), the young woman tried to brighten his day with a friendly “hello” as she placed her food on the checkout belt. The boy was obviously nervous as he shakily scanned the first two items and avoided eye contact. When he picked up the asparagus, he started flipping through a book of vegetables to find their identification code, but after a minute, shyly asked his secretly-hangry customer what they were called. Feeling patient in light of his obvious nerves, she gently answered, “Asparagus.” After another minute or two of frantic button-pushing, he mumbled that it was his first day and he couldn’t figure out how to ring up the…long green things. Three full minutes later, he breathlessly called into the empty air “Darryl!”-which we can assume was the name of the one manager’s name he remembered. Unfortunately, Darryl didn’t appear in a magical poof of smoke, so the boy returned to desperately stabbing buttons on the register.

buttons

Like this, but less happy about it. Also, Merry Christmas, everyone! I know many of you have already put up your trees.

At this point, the girl’s hanger started to vaguely bubble from within. She needed food and needed it now. Quietly, so not to embarrass him in front of the long line that had formed in the last five minutes, she said, “I’m not trying to steal or anything, but they’re like, $2. Do you think you can either find a manager or just throw them in the bag? Either way would probably better than not figuring it out.” Unfortunately, an even hangrier lady was next in line and overheard, jumping on the opportunity to screech, “She’s right!! This isn’t how you run a business! Give her the dang asparagus for free and let the rest of us start checking out!” The poor child behind the counter was clearly about to have a heart attack, so the girl with the asparagus began proactively scanning the premises for a medic and/or manager. Just in the nick of time- saving the day in khakis and a faded blue polo- Darryl triumphantly rounded the corner to swiftly ring up the asparagus, double-bag the wine, and re-bag the raw chicken in its own Salmonella-free compartment. When all was settled, the cashier-boy handed the girl her receipt and issued the most heartbreaking apology in the history of apologies. She smiled and said, “Don’t worry about it,” then proceeded to her car, where she got inside and replayed his agonizing apology over and over in her head. This kid obviously had a tough life with his physical deformity, plus a terrible and intimidating first day at work…so she did what anyone who feels bad for someone would do. She cried the whole way home.

Who does that? Silly girl. Such an emotional mess. She should get it together. Can you imagine getting that upset because of a teenage boy’s battle with asparagus? Embarrassing!!

Okay, fine. It was me.

Maybe I’m more like a baby than I realized and simply can’t help but cry when hungry, but I’m fairly certain that feeling bad for a cashier shouldn’t prompt a wave of unbridled emotion. Once the tears subsided and I subsequently judged myself for a full hour (and ate, duh), I tried to see the positive: Maybe I’m not an emotional disaster who should be locked away from the world like a ball of nuclear energy on the brink of eruption. Maybe I just have shockingly high levels of sympathy/empathy. [My coworker told me her roommate once partook in a university study to scientifically determine levels of emotion, and her roommate’s results said- verbatim: Shockingly low levels of empathy. Add that to the Match profile.]

That kind of long quick story and psychological analysis leads me to one question: Is caring for others too much a legitimate problem?

When the typical pageant interview question What’s your biggest weakness? elicits the response I have too big of a heart, we all snort at the subtle nod to narcissism. Oh, you’re so great that your greatest weakness is being too great? Must be tough being you.

But what if that’s a real answer? What if it’s true that having too big of a heart is a serious weakness in life?

[For the record, my answer to that question was always “Cheese.” Make ‘em laugh and move on. I don’t need to advertise that my weaknesses include resting b**** face, an inability to keep my car clean, and a fear of instruction manuals.]

I think everybody can agree that a certain amount of sympathy/empathy is important. It’s even an implication of the Golden Rule. Think about how other people feel and treat them accordingly. Got it. But some of us find it difficult to turn off the compassion switch once someone’s suffering is completely out of our control. Our hearts break for people who were dealt terrible cards, who are hurt by people we can’t stop, or even for those who continually hurt themselves. Since there’s nothing we can do, our concerned little hearts throw their hands up in despair, asking God “Whyyyy” and wreaking havoc on the nearest tear ducts. I think it’s safe to call that reaction a weakness in life.

Like any weakness, excessive sympathy/empathy can be strengthened and improved upon. This doesn’t mean those of us with this condition should strive to be ice queens, but it does mean that we should trust in the greater plan when the suffering of others is beyond our reach. Instead of letting those moments overwhelm us with sadness, we should harness that emotion into either developing a legitimate plan or practicing trust in a power greater than our own.

And that’s what I have to say about that.

Quite a simple conclusion for such a long riveting introductory story, but I never know where these things are going until they’re finished. This one just happened to be top heavy.

pamela-anderson-picture-5

We’ll call this post “Pamela Anderson.” Get it? Top heavy? #icrackmyselfup

By the way- for those of you with “shockingly low levels of empathy,” getting teary-eyed from helplessly watching old men shuffle across the street in the rain or welling up with happiness for people crossing the finish line at marathons doesn’t make us unstable. We just really, really like our fellow humans. And if we lose control of our emotions, give us a glass of wine and throw on The Mindy Project. We’ll be good to go in no time. Actually, scratch the wine…that may add to the emotions. Wait. No. Never scratch the wine.

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Girl’s Girl or Guy’s Girl?

You are standing in front of two doors.

Behind Door #1 is a room full of men.

guys

Behind Door #2 is a room full of women.

girlsYou don’t know any of these people. They are roughly your age, but from all different backgrounds. You have to spend one hour with them over drinks. Which door do you choose?

Hands down, dingdingding we have a winner- it’s a landslide, folks- I’m choosing Door #2.

I don’t understand men and I never will. Are they annoyed or just cocky? Are they calculating sports stats in their heads or actually listening to me? Do they want to have stimulating conversation or just look at my boobs? Both? Is my humor lost on them because they don’t understand that 98% of what I’m saying is sarcastic and/or exaggerated for effect? [Oliver Rule #1: If it’s not worth exaggerating, it’s not worth telling.]

Put me in a room full of girls and I am good to go. I don’t care how stuck-up, strange, or basic typical these señoritas may be, I know I can win them over by finding some sort of common ground and running with it. Watch and learn:

  • You went to private school and shampoo twice and only wear heels in the office? Ohmygosh tell me about it, but at least we have wine and Target am I right??
  • You are an oversharer with boyfriend issues? Girl, men are from Mars. Spill.
  • You are intellectual and deep? How can the magnitude of each person’s personal universe exist so congruently with each person’s insignificance in the greater universe?

Easy peasy.

Some of my girlfriends, albeit wonderful, are the exact opposite. They tell me that they feel far more comfortable surrounded by “simple” men than “complex” women. To each her own.

So, besides gravitating towards Door #1 or Door #2, what are the tell-tale differentiators between a girl’s girl and a guy’s girl? Glad you asked, because I created this completely arbitrary scientific side-by-side comparison cheat sheet:

*Note: This cheat sheet may prove difficult for the color blind. Sorry for the unintentional discrimination.

GIRL’S GIRL

  1. I can’t decide which girlfriends will be bridesmaids in my future wedding because it feels like I can only choose 2 or 16. Nothing in between.
  2. Fur vests are cute and trendy.
  3. I will never be in a relationship because I care too much.
  4. My dad is an anomaly of the male species.
  5. Flirting is fun, but can get tiring.
  6. I like to chat with my friends at parties.
  7. I love hugging.
  8. Guys make me nervous because I don’t really know what they’re thinking.
  9. I would rather overanalyze than misinterpret.
  10. Involving people in my decisions will help me to avoid mistakes.
  11. Taylor Swift songs are catchy and relatable.
  12. Everything I read on Generation grannY speaks to me.

GUY’S GIRL

  1. I have spent 0% of my time thinking about my future wedding.
  2. Fur vests seem like something only glamorous ice princesses or hard core hunters should wear.
  3. I will never be in a relationship because I don’t care enough.
  4. My dad is just a dude. A great dude, but a dude.
  5. Flirting and talking are the exact same thing.
  6. I can’t commit to any one conversation at a party for longer than five minutes.
  7. Happy to hug when hugged.
  8. Girls make me nervous because I know exactly what they’re thinking.
  9. I would rather misinterpret than overanalyze.
  10. If I make the wrong decision, I’ll try something else next time.
  11. Taylor Swift songs are catchy.
  12. Most of Generation grannY makes no sense but I find it amusing anyway.

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That Was So Ten Years Ago

Did high school actually happen? Or did I dream up soffes, Code Red, and Carson Daily?

soffes

Back when I had a Spark Notes account and was proud to call myself “Miss Cox”* (wait for it), I did my best to stay in the good graces of my peers, but still learned the valuable lesson that haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. [Taylor Swift’s new album is fabu, am I right? Right.] Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t suppress my proclivities for asking an obnoxious amount of questions in class, singing one notch too loud in chorus, and delivering the morning announcements in the manner of a serious news anchor. Likability score: off the charts.

I’m making it sound like everyone loathed me in high school. I don’t think that’s true, unless I have an incredible sense of self-preservation and have been lying to myself all of these years. We’ll stick with the former. I wasn’t an outright disaster or mean girl, but as with the majority of teenagers, I’m sure much of my behavior was misinterpreted or accidentally annoying. While some of you may be predisposed to sweetness and perfection, the rest of us have had to learn to tame our undesirable tendencies over the years- in my case, tendencies of 15-year-old Shannon to make her voice distinctly heard and be so socially awkward that it came across borderline offensive. Since 2006, I’ve learned that basically nobody wants to hear a passionate opinion unless they already agree with it, and found friends who were patient enough to transform my awkwardness from borderline offensive to simply entertaining. Thanks, guys.

So why the history lesson about Shanny the Granny’s youth? To demonstrate two points that will make your heart a lot less bitter, ultimately helping you more easily enjoy this crazy thing called life. A.) People can change and B.) Everyone has a story.

Note that I say people can change. Not people do change. My rose-colored glasses aren’t unrealistically thick. However, when discussing someone you didn’t like in a previous stage of life- be it high school, college, a previous job, etc.- your ability to rant about that person for more than five minutes tells me more about you and less about them. A self-aware person who actively works on his/her own personal growth looks back at old nemeses and assumes that they, too, have bettered themselves over time. But when the thought of a now-stranger still gets the ole heart racing, odds are Bitter Betty has slacked in the soul-searching department, herself- thus projecting a lack of growth onto that past irritant. Of course it’s wishful thinking to believe that the girl from summer camp 2002 isn’t still a total prima donna, but along the lines of innocent until proven guilty, life is way less stressful if you adopt the principle of changed until proven the same. Hopefully you’ve progressed enough, yourself, to support that mantra.

On to point B. Everyone has a story. I’ve touched on this before, but a reminder won’t hurt anyone. People don’t come out of the womb stuck up, idiotic, and abrasive. Though certain personality traits fall under Lady Gaga’s slogan Born This Way, most are learned- or at least perpetuated- by one’s environment. Particularly in adolescence, home lives are often swept under the rug at school, revealed only through aggravating behavior. So keep in mind that there is a reason for all behavior, which does not serve as an excuse for poor conduct, but should at least inspire a bit more patience in our reactions- particularly in retrospect. For example, anyone who reads THIS (<– click) might get a better idea of why I was such an odd duck in high school.

Thanks to the young lady at my college homecoming this weekend whose passionate tirade about a girl she hasn’t spoken to since 2008 inspired this blog post. I hope you read this, but have no idea that I’m referring to you. That would be awkward.

*I attended [Frank W.] Cox High school, who beat Varina High School (Vuh-Rye-Nuh) in the 2004 volleyball state championship. Cox beat Varina. You can’t make this stuff up.

miss cox

Miss Cox 2006. Killin’ it.

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Human Weirdness Proven by Google Searches

Everyone is weird. Do you know how I know that? Because of what pops up in Google searches. I’m here today to address a few of the questions I ran across that really seem to be plaguing the minds of Americans:

google-whatdoesitmean

To be an American: Pretend to Watch football, crave Chick-fil-a on Sundays, and gobble up sensationalized news.

When your nose itches: Someone is thinking of you and/or dust has landed on your nose.

To be in love: LOLOL how would I know?

google-whatisthebiggest

First three are boring, pass.

Biggest bra size: I seriously wonder about this nearly every day. Where do the letters stop? I’ve heard of triple H’s. Any I’s out there? I want to know.

google-whois

Sorry for the cursor on the screen. I know that’s going to drive you crazy.

Let’s take a moment to look at America’s priorities.

google-whyismy

Eye twitching: Good luck with that.

Internet slow: Oh, the irony of using Google to answer this question.

Period late: Proof that every girl out there thinks she is pregnant 1/4 of every year.

Poop green: This is apparently a relatively common issue..?

google-d

Daddy long legs/dogs: Boring, pass.

Dragons real: Such a muggle question.

Doritos gluten free: “Quick! Find out if I can eat these!” says the basic girl drunk on wine with late night munchies.

*This search ↑ “are d…” proved so interesting that the rest of the searches are snippets from using the same search format with every letter of the alphabet

google-j

Jews will always prove to be the most mysterious people on the planet.

Also, jeans are not business casual, you lazy millennials.

google-L

How is it possible that this is the first question that popped up? You guys are such freaks.

google-u

Unicorns and dragons…someone forgot to teach this generation what “fiction” means.

UFOs ≠ aliens

Question #3 confirms how basic our country has become.

Question #4 is from the same people who asked if jeans are business casual.

google-z

Ignore 1-3

Are zebras white with black stripes?

…really.

Keep being weird, America.

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Never/Always: Splurge Edition

What people choose to spend their hard-earned money on is really telling of their personalities and priorities. If someone is willing to shell out substantial cash for the iPhone 782 6, but won’t buy two-ply toilet paper, I have some real questions about his or her significance in my life. Which leads me to today’s Never/Always topic:

11 Things on which I’ll ALWAYS Splurge

11 Things on which I’ll NEVER Splurge

These lists are not meant to be agreed upon by all, by the way. But if you’re not willing to splurge on martinis, you may not want to share that information with anyone. It’ll make you look undignified.

ALWAYS:

1. Guac. There’s a good chance that guac will end up on 50% of my Never/Always lists. Whether the extra $3 at Chipotle or $24 for a family-sized appy at Dos Caminos, count me in.

2. Starbucks. We all have a shameful indulgence. Mine is a $4.29 tall soy chai latte. Every single day. That is $30.03/week, $132.99/month, and $1,565.85/year. Um. I shouldn’t have done that math. I definitely should NOT have done that math.

3. Heels/boots. My version of splurging on shoes is probably still pretty cheap in the eyes of most women, but I’d rather buy a $200 pair of hunter boots or a $100 pair of basic pumps than get a $40 pair that fall apart after one aggressive night in NYC Georgetown Clarendon. Sandals, though? What’s up, Target.

4. Martini liquor. A basic gin and tonic at the local Irish pub? House gin, please. A before[√]during[√]after[√] dinner gin martini slightly dirty with extra olives (preferably bleu cheese-stuffed)? The good stuff, please. I don’t have time to brace myself for fiery pine needles before every swallow.

martini

5. Self-tanner. If I’m forced to wear a strapless dress in a winter wedding or need to prepare for a tropical Christmas vacation, I have no qualms with loading up on Jergen’s Natural Glow. It’s about $10 more than it should be, but I’m not trying to scare off wedding guests or tourists with my pastiness.

6. Shampoo/Conditioner. Pantene Pro-V really does make your hair look like the commercials. Same with Bioceutica, but I’m only fancy enough to use the latter because a family member sends me excellent gift baskets.

7. Airport water bottles. They know that no matter how high they jack the price, everyone is forced to buy water only after they make it through strip searches security. It’s so maddening. I mean, a small price to pay for safety- yes, but charging more than $3 for a bottle of water is outrageous. And still I give in.

8. Work clothes. Business casual style doesn’t change rapidly like the fringe or crop top craze, so I’m going to get myself some double-stretch fancy pants from Banana Republic instead of the wannabes from New York & Co. Again, I know my idea of splurging is probably lame compared to most, but keep in mind that I’m a granny who gives zero flips about name brands.

9. Medicine. Name brands might not be important in my clothing choices, but I’m not getting some generic cold medicine that might not do its job. Ain’t nobody got time for Ebola.

10. Brand new books. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.

11. Victoria’s Secret. 5 for $25? Couldn’t pass it up if I tried. Which may be why I have about 175 pairs of underwear.

NEVER:

1. Apps. With all the free apps out there, why would I ever buy something? I also don’t use apps, so this is probably a silly thing to include on this list.

2. Make-up. I know a lot of girls like their Mac or Bare Minerals or all the fancy stuff from Sephora, but take me to the make-up aisle at CVS and I’m good to go. Maybe this is why all my girlfriends look like supermodels when we go out and I’m the bumbling sidekick. I don’t know.

3. Jewelry. I have some gorgeous pieces of pricey jewelry (again, thanks to family members), but statement necklaces and every day earrings are all courtesy of Target and Forever Love. They’re going to break or get lost anyway.

4. Plane seat upgrades. The concept of first class is nice and all, but at the end of the day, I’m still sitting next to strangers and trying not to get caught reading over their shoulders.

5. Sunglasses. Only the most responsible people in the world should buy nice sunglasses.

6. Wine. You might be shocked that wine is on this list. The thing is, even though wine is my best friend, lover, and soulmate all rolled into one, I can find an awesome bottle for $8 or less, so I’m not going to buy a $40 vintage off the shelf. Also, when I want the really nice stuff, I can just turn on the puppy eyes when my dad takes me to dinner. #perksofstillbeingsingle

7. Cable. I survived living by myself for a year with nothing but Hulu. Not even Hulu Plus. Somehow, I managed to get by without talking to myself often or anything weird like that.

self five

8. A fancy car. The amount I care about cars is even less than my interest in Kim Kardashian’s latest selfie.

9. Cool-kid gym memberships. Expensive cardio machines with personal TVs attached to the front actually make me dizzy. I need to be able to look out at the sea of lunks on machines while I’m getting my cardio on, so high class gyms have no appeal, as they only house ellipticals with TVs five inches from my face.

10. Real plants. Decorative plants are beautiful and maybe someday I’ll graduate to a new level of home décor maturity, but I’m just not ready for that kind of commitment.

11. Electronics. I don’t know if you guys see a trend, but I don’t do gadgets. At the current rate, they all become old news within like, three months anyway.

 

I feel like you just learned a lot about me. My splurge tendencies exposed more than I wanted them to, so let this be a lesson to make wise choices, everyone.

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Filed under Humor, Never/Always