It's a Girl Thing, On "The Hill"

Man! I Feel Like a Woman

October 19, 2017

When it comes to my peers, I am always the one playing catch up. They’re more… how do I put this…  developed. They own more than two bras and maybe have a cheese grater in their kitchen drawers. I wear the same bra every day and still live in a dorm room. There’s no competition. I just watch them from the sidelines, occasionally asking annoying questions about what womanhood is like, to which they reply: “One day, you’ll understand.”

It’s not like I haven’t been desperate to develop. I’ve always wanted to leave my girl-status behind and go all Shania Twain singing Man! I Feel Like a Woman. But the fact of the matter is that, for a long time, maturity hadn’t quite hit me. As much as I craved to learn the secret to being a badass lady-chick, I was just a late bloomer. I was trapped in the realm of the training bra. Pity me.

When I would admit my late blossoming to people, they would often gasp, saying things like, “Wow…I mean… getting ‘it’ at 20 years old is like really late, right?” I would nod my head and mumble “Uh huh,” as if I didn’t already know how stunted I was, as a woman. Even my mom was perplexed.

Then one day, it happened.

I was walking down Angell Street and I just knew, like a sixth sense: I told myself, this is your time—you’re a fucking woman now goddamn it. I exhaled sharply, turned left, and stared onwards into my future.

Yes, I am proud to announce that on September 27th the world of womanhood slapped me in the face and I got it: the drive to get an internship.

Continue Reading…

On "The Hill", Uncategorized

The Blue Room #exposed

October 11, 2017

Former Brown University president, Henry Wriston, once proclaimed The Blue Room as “the boldest experiment [he had] ever seen.” That was in 1939.

Today… not so much. Sure, it’s a social hub, a muffin hub, and an after-4 p.m. hub. It may scream “let’s meet for awkward coffee,” “sure, I get work done in here” and “I’m social, bitch!” But, bold? Nah. BLUE?   Not even. It’s as blue as a JetBlue terminal… which is to say, not at all. It’s floor to ceiling white. This might be a call to The Blue Room’s 1970s nickname, which was, I kid you not, the “Airport Lounge”—a name that says: I’m just gonna pretend that I’m boarding a flight to Budapest and never coming back! Sorry, econ exam. Continue Reading…

Life & Other Drugs

My Third Roommate is the U.S. Government

September 27, 2017

All great relationships mirror that of a whirlwind romance. At first, it feels as if you might have a crush. You think, “Hey, this person is cool. Maybe if we’re friends some if it will rub off on me.” You exchange numbers. Text a few times. Next thing you know, you’re splitting fries at Jo’s thinking I have been so lost…until now.

I’d say new roomie relationships mirror this timeline. You admire them. You put yourself out there. Next thing you know, you’re saying “Do you want me to turn off the light? Because I like totally can. I know how to turn it off and like, I don’t want it to bother you at all. PLEASE just tell me if you want it off (so you don’t silently resent me).” Continue Reading…

Life & Other Drugs

Hot New Anxiety Cure: 1940s Jazz

September 18, 2017

I want to be better. As in, I want to be a better person, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. It’s just that sometimes you reach the point where you could very easily be singing “Fix You” by Coldplay to yourself ABOUT yourself. That’s when you know it’s time to make a change.

I’d like to “fix” a myriad of things. I’d like to eat things other than cereal, develop some core strength, and become a “chill” texter. The thing that seems to be holding me back the most, however, besides the distance from my dorm to the gym, is the fact that I get too bogged down either being intimidated by people or just resenting them for no justifiable reason. I’m *cough cough* insecure. Continue Reading…

It's a Girl Thing, On "The Hill"

Athleisure & Me

April 26, 2017

I peered out of my Grad Center window this morning and was blinded by pastels. I saw lacrosse shorts and cute-yet-impractical button-down-the-front skirts galore. After some tedious calculations, all signs seem to point to the fact that YES, it is mating season spring!

As I write this from my prime Ratty booth, I can’t help but admire the array of chic warm-weather styles there are out there. Denim with so many holes in it that it creates its own ventilation system… Flip flops– or if you’re cool enough, crocs… And of course, the romper (a cute yet intimidating item of clothing).

I’d rock all these swanky outfits, I tell myself, if only I could turn off the furnace that is my body. In essence, I perpetually look like I just came from the gym. Continue Reading…

Life & Other Drugs, On "The Hill"

CVS: Friend or Foe?

April 13, 2017

I don’t exaggerate when I say that CVS is a haven. I float from aisle to aisle, rocking my headphones as I contemplate my latest existential crisis. I often put nothing in my basket and end up having awkward interactions with the manager. I’m there 10x longer than the average customer, just spacing out at a package of Twizzlers, so inevitably he greets me again, thinking I’ve just walked into the store. And so, the cycle continues.

After a quick consult with Yelp, I’ve discovered that not everyone feels the same way as I do about our lovely friend on Thayer Street. All of the reviews were well-researched, honest, and funny as hell. I give you exhibit A:

“Ewww, this CVS is the definition of a ‘hot mess.’” –Melissa F.

“This CVS store is a disaster.”-Michael D.

“Who knows when a drunkie will come in looking for an aspirin.” –Carrie U. (Thank you for your concern, Carrie. We college students worry about that, too .)

There are, however, still reviews that align with my rosy view of the corporation, but with a twist. See exhibit B:

“The location is very convenient for shoppers, diners, and students. You might be needing something from the drugstore after having a very large meal…” –Robert S. (Here, Robert seems to be implying that if we feel the need to shit our pants or vom after eating at East Side Pockets, CVS should be our #1 call.)

And lastly, we have Eric C.,  who touches on one of the highlights of the CVS experience: “You should remember to bring your card so you can get your discounts and credits towards purchases!” But he later goes on to reveal the ultimate betrayal: “I do admit that I still prefer Rite Aid.” Oh Eric, don’t you know that Rite Aid is Satan’s pharmacy?

He’s right though. The CVS ExtraCare card is pretty damn cool and it’s a sure-fire way to feel like an adult, but some of the coupons are straightup judgmental, plus they escalate. See here:

$1.50 off Greeting Cards—make someone’s day! (Here, CVS assumes that I have friends, let alone friends I want to bombard with a pastel greeting card)

$2 off any GE LED Light (CVS assumes that I own a house or nice lamp to feed lightbulbs to. Or maybe I could use light bulbs as wall decorations in Grad Center…)

$5 off Severe Acne Scrub (Does this self-checkout machine have a camera?)

And lastly:

FREE Box of Kleenex Tissues–We know you cry a lot, so here just take them. (You know me too well, CVS)

You see, the coupons may diss me, but at the end of the day, CVS is still my loving friend. When I inevitably graduate, I’ll always remember this Thayer Street staple as the place where I found my true self among fluorescent aisles of shampoo and came to the realization that overanalyzing is best saved for texts, not for household coupons.

Thanks, CVS.

Image via.

Life & Other Drugs

Decoding Dudes

April 5, 2017

Let’s say it’s Friday and we get invited to a party (woohoo). You’re pumped and respond by saying, “Awesome! I’ll see ya then!” I, on the other hand, end up saying something like this: “Errr, you caught me. I’m not doing anything tonight, so yea I’ll come to the pregame. I probably (definitely) won’t make it to the party, but that’s okay with you, right? Cool.”

Normal humans can hang, drink a few beers, and call it a night. I, on the other hand, perform a skewed version of this in which I drink the beer while sitting on the floor, preferably shielded by my coat, and then the second I feel claustrophobic (or on the verge of existential crisis) I leave.

Social anxiety strugz are real, and I get it: you’d rather stare at the streetlamp out the window than have people look at you during beer pong. You’re happy to go to CVS to pick up mixers by yourself to avoid awkwardly throwing off the rhythm of flip cup. But fear not. If you need the key to surviving the pregame, here’s what you need to do:

Your goal: to get the scoop on boy lingo. Be Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game: break that code. Dig deep. You’ll seem engaged as your social anxiety falls away. You’re not just sitting on the floor anymore, you’re on a mission. Throw in some wide eyes, head nods, the occasional “no ‘effin way!” and you’ll be one of the guys, or even better, a girl who is one of the guys, a bro’s f*cking dream.

From my fieldwork, I have gathered the following phrases: pull up, pull thru, come thru, throw down, and turn up. While these could be interpreted as sewing instructions or horseback riding commands, they are, in fact, just modern dude-speak.

“Pull up” translates to “Yea, come over.” It’s used if they like you, meaning you’re already doing something right.  If they don’t like you, they’ll just say, “Um, sure… You can come,” which means you shouldn’t.

“Come thru” is just a plain old invitation i.e. you are formally invited to chill.

“Pull thru” is straight up capitalism, old-fashioned goods and services. If you were asked to bring the beer to the party, you’re expected to pull thru. If you don’t pull thru, everyone will hate you.

*The “ough” in through was dropped as a result of millennial brain damage*

“Throw down” means there’s bout 2 be a party. Google taught me that it comes from the Old English phrase, “Throw down the gauntlet.” So, go find your gauntlet and fricken throw it.

“Turn up” is a call from the heavens telling you to put down your Econ problem set and shove yourself into an over-packed room where you will hear no one, regret going, and say nothing but “heyyyyy!” 

The bottom line is that it is not uncommon to hear something like this: “Yo, before we throw down later wanna hit the Ratty?” “For sure, dude. I’ll come thru.” For us, this exchange seems totally normal, but have your grandmother read it and she’ll ask “what the f*ck are you talking about?”

There is still much work to be done in this field. If you’d like to conduct some summer research with me, let me know. Please don’t be intimidated by the subjects. As I have learned from my time undercover, boys are a perfect species to study because they are often completely oblivious to your mental note taking. On the off chance that they call you out, just laugh and say you were “totally spacing out!!” because there was no way you were judging or going to publish an article about them.

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Life & Other Drugs

Lactose Tolerant

March 14, 2017

Polyamorous is not a label that I subscribe to enthusiastically, but in the context of all things dairy, it’s quite hard for me to deny. I’ll just start by saying that the rumors are true: I’m in a relationship with Brie cheese, I will choose yogurt over you any day, and milk and I have had a tumultuous affair for decades. In my own defense, however, I must add that the industrial agriculture complex made me this way. Milk is not just a cow in your backyard anymore, folks. It’s errrywhere, which is why I’m finally coming out. 

Milk was never meant to be my mistress, because, after all, consider the facts. Why are we, humans, with (somewhat) intelligent minds so hooked on the life-milk of another animal? Imagine the contrast, a cow suckling at your own breast. (Yea, I said suckling.) Is it weird now? You bet it is.

Never-before-seen photo of Justin Timberlake suckling on that good udder.

We’ve all been seduced by cows. No one wants to look like JT in the pic above, but this is our reality. We’ve all fallen hard. Especially me. 

Mothers Against Cow Suckling (MACS)

I was probably a classified milk-addict by age five. I mean, I was fed ice cream as a baby. The man that worked at the ice cream store would yell, “You can’t feed ice cream to a baby!!” But they did, and I gave them that did-that-baby-just-poop-or-eat-ice-cream face. He still works there and still gives me ice cream. And I still give him that face.

It comes down to this: if it were still 2008, my AT&T Fave 5 would consist of ice cream, milk, cheese, butter, and yogurt (greek, baby). They’re my booty calls. They may give me acne and cellulite, but they know what I like, and that’s all that matters.

At the end of the day, dairy products are just plain good lovers. They call when they say they will, are always free on Valentine’s Day, and essentially always have read-receipts on and respond within seconds. They comfort me in ways that humans just can’t. Here’s a glimpse into our loving, supportive relationship:

Me: I had such a rough night. That party wasn’t fun at all, no one talked to me, and I was shoved into a coat rack…

Milk: Oh, no. That sounds like a really shitty night. I’m here with chocolate syrup if you want to stop by the fridge. We won’t shove you into a coat rack.


Me: I know it’s really early in the morning but—

Butter: Babe, I’m here for you. Come on over. Bring an English muffin.  


Me: This was the WORST day ever. I basically cried in front of everyone that I talked to and—

Cheese: Shhhh. Grill me. You’re safe now.  


It’s undeniable. The love is real and here to stay, despite what vegans might tell me. Dairy products love me for who I am. They say, “Hey babe, I love your curves… especially because I’m the one who gave them to you.”

Images via, via, and via Caroline Zerilli.

It's a Girl Thing, Love & Romance

Nope, Haven’t Seen It: Grease

March 5, 2017

My defining characteristics have always been the following: I’m 5’7, I hate mayonnaise, and I haven’t seen Grease. I’ve been running away from the movie for about as long as I can remember. It’s chased me from my grandmother’s house to middle school sleepovers and ultimately to my musical-obsessed boyfriend’s home in corn-country Ohio. That is where I met my fate.

“You haven’t seen GREASE????”

I cringe at the question, but then confidently respond: “No.” I am then harassed with a slew of dance moves and John Travolta impressions. They are all bad.

On February 20th 2017, however, my defining characteristic was compromised, and I am now exclusively defined by an aversion to mayonnaise.

I was congested, menstruating and sleep deprived, not to mention dehydrated. Cocooned in four blankets with a 60-pound dog on my lap, I did the unthinkable. I learned the meaning of Grease Lightning… and that it was all flippin’ sexist.

Let’s begin with the opening number. I quote, “Tell me more. Tell me more. Was it love at first sight. Tell me more. Tell me more. Did she put up a fight?” DID SHE PUT UP A FIGHT? Excuse you, sir. The only fight being put up is against the claimed size of your you-know-what.

Later, it’s just the ladies. No boys allowed. But someone clearly laced the nail polish remover with patriarchy as Rizzo sings: “Look at me, I’m Sandra Dee. Lousy with virginity. Won’t go to bed ‘til I’m legally wed. I can’t. I’m Sandra Dee!” What about choice, Rizzo? Aren’t you gonna be DL craving abortion rights in 45 minutes?

And lastly, at the end of movie, we have the grand transformation, the Extreme Home Makeover Edition of female beauty, from a pure virgin(ity-is-a-construct-created-by-men) girl to a jaw-dropping, cigarette-smoking maven. See it for yourself:

In conclusion, I did not know that this was the prequel to Chiddy Chiddy Bang Bang, so needless to say, the realism of the film really went to shit as the car literally flew off into the sunset. The screen faded to black and I was met with three eager stares. “SooOOO??? What’d ya think?”

Without words, I shrugged. I then received a 23-minute lecture on why I was wrong and on why musicals are capable of making full-grown men cry. I have since been paid off to tell you… that Grease is a fabulous movie and you should all go see it right now.

It’s on Netflix.


Images via and via.