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On "The Hill"

A Very Very Very Fine House

April 24, 2017

The only thing better than being a grownup is pretending to be a grownup. Actually, that is a lie. There are a lot of things better than being a grownup, like a great pair of jeans, a whole milk latte, and getting the last word in a kickass argument. Also, being a kid. That might be better than being a grownup. But I am becoming older and, therefore, turning into a grownup in quite an uncontrollable manner—they call that aging, I think—so I am forced to come to terms with my fate and say that there is nothing better than pretending to be a grownup.

I have spent the last eight months of my life living in a house with my two best friends. This is not only the first time we have lived together, but is also the first time we have lived in a real grownup house together. We’ve all lived alone before—Jamie and I in cities like New York and Prague. Julia’s lived alone in Ethiopia, which makes her a much more interesting person. However, there is nothing quite like living, just the three of us, in the second floor of our big, old Victorian house for the first time, together. Continue Reading…

Life & Other Drugs, Listicles

5 Things on Netflix to tell Mike You Binge-Watched

February 22, 2017

It’s hard to seem woke when the only six TV shows you’ve watched in full are about white people living together in New York. And it’s easy to feel like your tastes are super antiquated when Mike takes you to drinks and you have no fucking clue who Ava DuVernay is. Have no fear, Hannah Horvath! Here are five shows you can pretend you’ve binge-watched on Netflix to convince Mike that you, too, really think Bernie should have won the primary.

Glee

Glee has tackled a variety of issues that no family-targeted TV show has before: coming out, racial diversity and inclusion, living with a disability, teen pregnancy, getting molested by your choir teacher, and selling pot brownies at a bake sale. It’s practically Disney Channel for Gloria Steinem’s grandkids. 

3%

3% is a Netflix original that no one’s ever heard of before, so you can totally just tell Mike whatever you want about it and I’m sure he’ll believe you.

Cosmos

Everyone watches Cosmos but no one knows what it means, and it’ll give you brownie points in the intelligence arena. So just use it as a transitional topic into your discussion of Trump’s environmental policies while you sip your Mint Juleps.

Portlandia

Telling Mike you watch Portlandia is like saying, “I’m hip and woke but I also know how to laugh at myself.” Plus, it’s a sketch-based show, so you can make up a sketch and easily pretend it’s from an obscure episode in a season you “forgot.” It’s also so easy for Mike to get episodes confused with what really happened that summer he spent working on a granola farm in Portland that he won’t know the difference, anyway.

The OA

Do you know what’s as good as Stranger Things but only received half the recognition? The OA. (Just say that to Mike, exactly like that.)

And remember: tell him you’re a Rachel, not a Monica. Have a great date!!!!

Image via Annie Warner.

Love & Romance

A Valentine’s Day Card for the Guy You’re Kind of with but Not Really Sure???

February 16, 2017

2.14.17

Dear Dan,

I know we aren’t like, together together, and we don’t have a label on it—not that “it” is really anything at all, like totally no big deal, very fluid, you know—or anything, but I just wanted to give you this card on this day, which is today. Not trying to put pressure on either of us, but I felt kind of weird not saying anything at all if you get what I mean and thought maybe you just didn’t want to be the one to say something first so I figured I’d just jump right in and go for it haha! But we aren’t together or anything so it’s not a big deal anyway, right? Like it’s not a big deal that I’m saying anything—I didn’t mean it’s not a big deal that we’re not together—because I thought it would just be fun and funny to give you this card. And we’re just playing things by ear. And being super casual. Que sera sera!!!!!! We are so chill, and I LOVE that!

So, anyway, just wanted to give you this card to say hi, check in, see how things were going on your end, wanted to say I appreciate our Snapchat streak. You know, just the usual HI! And thanks for being you, you person you! I like this thing!! That we have. The thing we have.

Anyway (<— woops already said that so had to cross it out haha) So, at the end of the day (not this day because this day means nothing haha just like when people say “at the end of the day” as a general euphemism of sorts, that’s the one I mean) I am glad that this is what it is! And this card means absolutely nothing. It’s not related to any holiday or color or bodily organ. Wait but I don’t mean that inappropriately. I don’t want you to think I think that this is solely sexual, because I don’t at all, I basically just wanted to give this to you to say hi, and that’s about it. I was referring to hearts when I said that because this card doesn’t even have any hearts on it at all. Actually just forget about it. Really like don’t worry at all. Not that you were worried because we’re so low key and do our own thing that there’s nothing you should ever have to worry about because why would there be. Anyway, Thanks for dinner!

Xoxo
Xx
Have a great day, whatever day it is!!
Yours truly
X,
Hannah

Image via

 

Love & Romance

Barking Up the Wrong Tree

February 1, 2017

 

I spent a greater portion of the last year wanting a boyfriend. I have been working on a long term writing project which causes me to spend most of my day thinking about love and relationships. Then I would go out at night, donning my best mom jeans and platform sneakers, hoping that the evening would end with me being graciously chauffeured to my future (albeit currently anonymous) boyfriend’s off-campus apartment in an Uber Black that had the vibe of a pumpkin carriage. It never did.

I would make eye contact with someone cute at a party or in a bar or walking on the street, and I would wonder if it would be him. I knew I wanted one in the same way that a small child wants a puppy—the idea of it is nice, and I got so quickly and rashly sucked up in it that I never actually realized when and why I felt that it was missing from my life to begin with. Like puppies, some of my friends had them, and they seemed really fun.

When you are little and ask your parents for a puppy, they often deny your proposition. “Are you going to pick up the shit?” my mom would stare me straight in the eyes, both at the same damn time, which I’m sure is what every parent does.

Once, about ten years ago, I dog-sat for my neighbors. On the first walk we went on, Puppy, their puppy, took a shit. It was the first time I had ever seen a dog’s poop steaming in the way dog poop does on a crisp morning, and I swear I have never been the same since. I bent over to pick up Puppy’s shit, and I started gagging as if I was about to vomit. I am also terribly afraid of vomit, so the act of gagging made me feel the need to gag even more. I ended up picking up the shit and not throwing up, both of which are miracles unto themselves, but I learned a lot about what it might actually be like to have a dog that day.

Puppies pee, shit, and bark. These are things that you might not see your friend’s puppy do. They are things that you, from afar, can admire but don’t have to deal with. This is how I felt about having a boyfriend.

I told one of my guy friends that I didn’t even want a boyfriend––I just wanted someone to go home with at the end of the night once or twice a week and be with and talk with sometimes, and I wanted him to have sex with nobody else besides me. He laughed.

The next period of my boyfriend-less life consisted of a lot of dating in New York. Dating made me feel better about not having a boyfriend, which sounds like an obvious statement but wasn’t so obvious to me. Dating was fun. All of a sudden, not having a boyfriend felt like a possibility rather than an emptiness; an energy and ability to try men on like sweaters (in a non-objectifying way). Some fit better than others; some don’t fit at all. Life can become like a season of The Bachelor very, very quickly if you so choose to make it. Just some food for thought.

As quickly as it had begun, dating season came to a close, and I returned to school for senior year. And as quickly as it faded, the feeling that something or someone was missing returned, and I thought that maybe, just maybe, if I did something right, I would find it.

And then, like any spicy margarita within two feet of my grasp, it disappeared again.

I don’t exactly know or understand why there are times in which I feel like I want a boyfriend and times in which I feel like I don’t. There is something to be said about waking up next to someone, or feeling skin-to-skin contact, which is something I can sense is missing from my life when it’s been gone for too long. And I’m not even talking about sex. I literally mean touching. One summer, while traveling in Turkey, I spent two weeks without hugging anyone, and I have never sensed a lack of something like that so deeply in my life.

I have some theories, of course. I think I can sense how close I am to the end of college. I think I really like my life as it is right now, even sans boyfriend, and don’t feel a need to change it. I think I’ve accepted that when love chooses to come for me, it will.

When I was younger, my parents delayed adding a puppy to our family because their hands were full with me and my two younger brothers. When the first of them was born, my parents didn’t get a dog because they had two kids under the age of five, and that is probably enough of a nightmare in and of itself. When the second was born, my mom wanted to wait until he was old enough to walk and communicate so that having a dog around him would be easier. “You have your brothers,” she would say to persuade me. “You don’t need a dog right now. You have Jonah and Eli!” she said in a way that unintentionally implied that my two brothers had the consciousness and intelligence of labradoodles.

Now, I get it: instead I have other people. We go on walks together, and we get dinner a lot. We make coffee runs, and go grocery shopping, which I have always thought of as an incredibly romantic activity. We cuddle and hug when we’re alone in a room. This weekend, we even went to the jewelry store. We text each other when life is shitty and when good things happen. We tag each other in memes, which is the true sign of a strong relationship. I am honestly obsessed with them. Like, sometimes, I just have to squeeze the heck out of them. My best friends seem to be enough for me. I feel whole.

Image via

Life & Other Drugs

Baby Mama

December 6, 2016

 

This is an actual excerpt transcribed verbatim from my 4th grade diary, dated January 13, 2004:

My babysitter Andren is having a baby. It will be a sweet baby girl.

I am happy that it is a girl because then I can finally get a “sister.” All day I am stuck with two little brothers and sometimes I get bored. So I Always want a girl that I can play with, fix their hair, etc.

Andren wants to name her baby girl Cortney, Raquel, or Madison. I told her that I don’t like Cortney but whatever she wants.

At this point in time, my youngest brother, Eli, was three. Eli and I had already been estranged from each other for two years, as he became extremely misogynistic at age 1. He also had just a tinge of an Oedipal complex, as the only woman he’d speak to was my mother. It was fine. We started speaking again when he was five.

Eli would be the third and final addition to our family. When he was born, I was six-and-a-half, and Jonah, our middle brother, was four. My mom was 36. My dad was 38 and having a midlife crisis. So, he did what most rational 38-year-old men do when their wives are seven months pregnant with their third child: they buy a 1985 Mercedes 380SL with the money they don’t have. It was our “fun car,” and it broke down every three weeks, on command.

My mom says that when I was born, my dad was afraid to touch me because he thought I would break. Don’t get me wrong, though—my dad is great with kids. We call him Mr. Cheese because he’s so god damn cheesy. He objectively likes the Disney Channel more than I do, and he still watches it sometimes, late at night when the good reruns are on.

When it came to having kids, my mom was less afraid. She was so unafraid, in fact, that she refused any epidural–not even an IV–when she gave birth. There was a full moon on September 22, 1995, whose gravitational pull helped me to just pop out naturally.

In addition to giving birth, my mom has a lot of other hobbies. She’s taken up the following at different periods throughout my life: knitting, decorative beading, bracelet beading, candle making, mah jong, yoga, Crossfit, and kickboxing. Unlike other moms, my mom does not attend clubs or do these things in groups of women. Instead, she turns our kitchen into a chemical factory and our dining room table into a design studio and works hard knitting/beading/doing Crossfit/making candles/etc. She has an incredibly entrepreneurial spirit.

As of this month, my mom has a new hobby. She has recently become a doula.

We love poking fun at her for this. When I run around the house screaming “Mom’s a doula!!!!!!!” in manic excitement, my dad, a.k.a. Mr. Cheese, mutters under his breath, “More like a dufus.”

A doula is “a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.” This is according to dona.org, the official home base for doulas.

As soon as my mom became certified, she wouldn’t let any of us forget it. Here is a series of texts I’ve received from her over the last month:

Doula class so amazing! I can’t wait to help you labor and deliver!!!!
I’m just about ready!
So empowering!

The next day:

Mom: How are you? I’m a doula!
Me: I’m in the middle of a focus group for my thesis. 10 girls here
Mom: Oooo – tell them I’m a doula and call me after. ❤ :-*

When my friend Jamie texted my mom to congratulate her:

Jamie: Congrats on becoming a doula!!!! ❤
Mom: Thanks so much honey!!!!!  I’ve haven’t been so excited about something like this in forever!  Best feeling ever!  I’m also now prepped to get you guys thru your pregnancies, labors and births!  Not soon please but whenever you’re ready! ❤ :-* ❤

+++

Last week, I had been home for less than an hour when my mom entered my room and said, “Get up on all fours,” which is the second most demeaning position anyone has ever requested me to contort into (the first being every time Alison at the European Wax Center makes me hold my own butt cheeks apart). But I oblige because she’s my mom and I love her, and I get on all fours on my bed, and my mom, insistent on applying her doula practices to my very much unimpregnated body, applies what feels like every pound in her body to a spot on my upper ass.

“Yes, there’s the pressure points to help with labor!” she says.

“I’m not in labor, Mom,” I say.

“Doesn’t that feel good?” she asks from behind.

“No,” I say. “It actually is incredibly painful,” and then I collapse on my bed because I simply cannot take the sharp pain anymore.

Quickly, my mom leaves my room and returns less than a minute later with a two-foot-long wooden stick.

“Let me give you a rub-y,” my mom says to me in a baby voice so that I’m no longer sure if I’m supposed to be pregnant or newborn. Flattened on my belly, I feel her roll the wood over my left shoulder.

“A little to the right,” I tell her, because this isn’t so bad. “Get my spine.” I crane my neck over my shoulder. Upon closer examination, I realize what is really going on here.

“Is that a rolling pin?” I ask.

“No, it’s for doula-ing!” she defends.

“Mom, that is a rolling pin that you got from the kitchen. You are rubbing me with a rolling pin,” I say, and she doesn’t really care. Eventually we both start laughing so hard that we cry all over my virginal childhood bed. Over the course of that weekend, my mom received four packages of doula equipment to replace our 20-year-old rolling pin. A lot of them look like sex toys.

+++

In another journal entry from fourth grade, I wrote a piece titled “My Baby Doll” about my favorite doll, Madeline, dated September 24, 2004:

I absolutely LOVE babies, real or fake. Big or small, short or tall. When I am 13 I’d like to start babysitting on weekends. When I am 25, I’d like to get married and by 30, I want a kid. Dolls are real fun to play with. You can throw them up to the ceiling and catch them, or you can stuff them in a backpack. Either way, that’s how it all started. With Madeline and I.

I have acquired a lot of traits from my mom. We both absolutely love babies. She roughly aligns my fake-pregnant hips as I crouch on all fours, I throw fake-living babies up to the ceiling and catch them. Or stuff them in a backpack.

In 2004 I was nine years old, and already had a perception of when I thought it would be right to get married, get pregnant. You know – to want a kid.

It’s 2016. I am 21 and single. I don’t think I will get married by 25, and only god knows if I’ll have a baby by 30. My friends are flocking to the gyno for IUDs in fear of being soon denied the right to birth control. The good news is that if and when I do get pregnant – whether I’m single, married, #girlboss, but, most importantly, pregnant by my own choosing – I’ll have someone to take a rolling pin to my back.

Illustration via Annie Warner. 

It's a Girl Thing, Love & Romance

Boys Don’t Understand My Clothes

September 13, 2016

img_2146

There is one conflict in hookup culture not-so-well addressed: the conflation of high fashion and the boys who attempt to quite literally see what lies beneath it. As a recently indicted college senior, I’ve seen my fair share of females who dress in ways that attract the people they seek to go home with. This seems to be an obvious yet unspoken rule as, each Sunday morning, I welcome visions of cleavage and ass-accentuation while scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed. It’s lovely, really.

But at Brown, the issue is even more complicated: a subtle-but-strong pressure to dress well while simultaneously beckoning your partner-of-interest. There is where I helplessly fail.

Do you think my mom jeans are hot? Do you like the way they awkwardly cut off my ankle? You like that? Oh, baby. That sliver of ankle. (This is what you say to yourself when you see me at a party, am I right??)

So, in an effort to dress in a way that both attracts men and repels them, I have found myself in a number of sticky situations over the years that have led me to the conclusion that boys don’t understand my clothes.

Freshman year, I was making out with a boy in an empty frat lounge. After two weeks of kissing, I decided internally that I would finally let him steal first base. I felt his hands start to go there, when I remembered a major obstacle. I was wearing pasties.

Pasties are small, round, sometimes rubber-y, sticky things that you stick over your nipples when you’re wearing a garment that does not allow for a standard bra. For some reason, I thought it was important to explain this to Frat Lounge Boy. An alternative would have been saying, “One sec,” and casually taking off the pasties myself. Instead, I sat up on the leather couch, cleared my throat, and looked him in the eye: “These are called pasties. They are kind of like band-aids that you stick on your nipples when you can’t wear a bra.” I wish I made that up, but it is painfully true.

I think he was like, “Uh, okay,” and we put them under the couch and kept making out.

Sophomore year, I accidentally attended my first naked party. One might wonder, “How do you accidentally attend a naked party?” If you must know, I was with a group of people who decided to have a naked party after I had committed to being with them. I wouldn’t mind a naked party at all except for the instance in which you are trying to “take it slow” with someone you’ve just started seeing and then you are at the naked party with him and are therefore incredibly conflicted because getting naked together would defy the “taking it slow.” I would have been happy to dance around in my bra and underwear, except this was a night where I was wearing neither bra nor underwear. My conundrum doubled. So, I danced around with my dress folded down to my belly button while everyone around me was very, very, naked. I don’t think anyone understood the gravity of the conundrum, and I think I just looked very awkward and stupid.

One might gather from these two anecdotes that I have a tendency to not wear a bra, which is also something that is “in” at Brown, where you simultaneously must look like a non-bra-ed free spirit but still have perky and not-ugly/saggy boobs. Recently, I’ve taken a liking to training bras as a great alternative to uncomfortable underwire. Last summer, I was making out with a boy I’d been seeing fairly consistently when he discovered that under my shirt was something that felt like another shirt. He struggled to unclip something that actually didn’t clip at all. Literally, a training bra. “What is this?” he asked.

“It’s like, a training bra,” I said smoothly.

“How do you take it off??”

But real talk––the best thing to do if you want to really confuse your partner is to wear a leotard under your clothing, because everyone assumes it’s just a tucked in shirt. And when they realize it’s not, they are literally AMAZED. The reaction is pretty much only comparable to what it would be like if, let’s say, they saw Jesus walk on water or something.

At the end of my junior spring, I was wearing a white leotard under high waisted shorts. My partner-in-hooking-up slid my shorts down to discover that I wasn’t fully clothed, but I wasn’t bottomless, either.

“What is this?” he gasped in shock. “Are you wearing a bathing suit?”

“It’s a leotard.”

“Like, a bathing suit?”

“Sure,” I said in surrender. “Like a bathing suit.”

“Wow,” he said.

I took my leotard out for a spin again this summer, under a bright purple bubble skirt, on a night out with a boy I’d been dating for a bit. He wore dirty white Vans and had great taste in button-down t-shirts, so I figured he might process it better. I wore it for fashion’s sake––not FTB (for the boys).

“Oh my god,” he said when he realized. “This is a onesie??”

“It’s not a onesie. It’s a leotard,” I corrected.

“You’re wearing a onesie,” he said. Then we hooked up and sang “Amie” by Pure Prairie League at the top of our lungs in bed.

Sometimes, when a guy takes off my shorts or skirt to discover that my shirt continues down to oblivion, wrapping front-to-back between my legs like a slim-fit built-in-diaper, I get the urge to jump up and be like, “SURPRISE, FUCKER!!!!!!!”

Personally, I think it’s hilarious.

Featured image via

It's a Girl Thing, Life & Other Drugs

My Momager and Me

May 17, 2016

(co-authored by Stephanie Sauer Pasternak, Brown Class of 1987)

(please enjoy my attempt at photoshopping my head onto Kim Kardashian’s body, thereby giving myself a “five-head,” above)

Hannah speaking. I have always been incompetent, yet the word wasn’t always used to describe me because I wasn’t expected to know how to do things that would make one eligible for competency. I couldn’t make a haircut appointment on my own, nor was I able to find the cheapest flight from point A to point B on a given day. This is called “being aged ten years old.”

It is a full decade later. I more or less dress the exact same way I did before 2006 (mom jeans do wonders for my ass) but I’m expected to know how to actually accomplish a lot more on my own. I’ve substituted uneven self-given hair trims for the refusal to see anyone but Daniel, the man with black, French manicured tips who knows exactly how to cut my dead ends – but not too too much – and give me perfectly long-ish side bangs. (Side bangs are making a comeback, too.)

It’s not that I don’t actually know how to do certain things, like find someone who will remove my wisdom teeth and call him for a consultation, but, rather, I am often too lazy to do these things myself. This is how I have redefined the notion of incompetence. I think it’s a defense mechanism. While, in reality, I finally feel more stable than I have in years (thanks to my benzo prescription, my healthy habit of running for 30 minutes a day, a snazzy internship, and the ways in which I’ve learned to maneuver my relationships without feeling too much like a Girls character) I’m still freaking out about becoming a real adult. Through my negation of simple necessities, like putting dishes in the dishwasher and calling my dear hair-trimming-friend Daniel, I am holding onto every last wavering piece of childhood that juts out from the climbing wall that is life.

A few months ago, I was thanking my mom, who is also, unabashedly, my best friend, for a favor. “You’re my momager,” I told her in gratitude.

And she loved it. She loved it so much that she has fully assumed the position of “momager” since.

Stephanie speaking. So at some point over the past couple of years, my role as “Mom” changed. It seemed that all of a sudden I was not needed to comb out her hair, drive her to a playdate, make her favorite meal, put a Band-Aid and Neosporin on her scraped knee or buy her clothes. Instead, I became a confidant, a voyeur waiting in the wings until I was called upon, a voice of reason, an assistant, and a watchful eye. Without even realizing it, I became a “Momager.”

The transition from Mom to Momager is very bittersweet. I remember filling out the “tell me about your child” form a few weeks before kindergarten started. The five lines on the printed form I was given weren’t nearly enough. I replaced it with a 10-page handwritten letter to her soon to be kindergarten teacher. Tears dropped onto the pages as I wrote every single word.  My girl was growing up. Had I known at the time that this transition was only the beginning of even bigger transitions to come, I might not have been so sad at the time.

Now, I am going through another one of those transitions. This one is just as emotional for me and probably just as non-emotional for her. She doesn’t realize the anguish that accompanies parenting as one watches their child grow up. To satisfy my need to be needed as a parent, the Momager in me was born!

Now, I help manage finances, make connections for internships and jobs, make appointments for gigs at the doctor’s and the hair salon, am a sounding board when it comes to all things social (both boys and friends!), work on calendar scheduling, strut close beside her as any good body guard would, and, of course, make travel plans. It really seems like I now have more business-like and professional duties. 

What makes being a Momager so special? There is no better feeling in the world than to help your child. It makes no difference if that means to tie their shoes or to make their annual gyno appointment.  The beauty of being a Momager… there is nothing better than feeling the sense of accomplishment as you help guide, mentor, ground and Momage the young woman beside you who once was little and loved spin-spin dresses, tights, and diaper covers laden with lace.  She now knows so much and is so capable on her own. 

The beauty in it all – one is never too old to have a Momager. The feeling should be mutual in the relationship. Each should be equally important to the other. The Momager is the proud caretaker and shaper of the soul. The daughter is the lucky recipient of the assistance, care and love that makes it all happen.  My Mom/Momager (Brown class of ’57) passed away exactly five years ago and I feel the absence of her presence every minute of every day. My hope is that I am half the Momager that my Mom was. I know at the very least, my mom taught me how to be a great Momager – and what better gift could she have left me than one that benefits both myself and my beautiful daughter. 

(I swear, I didn’t pay her to say any of that. Mostly because I have a low-paying job and an unpaid internship and therefore can’t afford to.)

There is one sad part to all of this: my mom thinks that we created “the momager.” My mom – who is a cool mom, but doesn’t keep up with the Kardashians – doesn’t know that Kris Jenner has assumed the title of momager for the last decade and, before that, created it.

Recently, I told a friend about my momager conundrum – how my mom loves being my momager so much, and how it’s helped me escape the incompetency of young adulthood, but how she’s completely unaware of the fact that our relationship is capitalizing on a concept created by the Kardashians.

“Well, which Kardashian would that make you?” my friend asked.

Better question: which of the Kardashians would be me?

Either way, I guess all I’m trying to say is that I’m thankful. I’m thankful for my momager, I’m thankful for Daniel, who cuts my hair, I’m thankful for the fact that my mom and I have such a close relationship that I can rely on her to make a gyno appointment for me any day of the week. And one day, when I’m a girl boss, my retired momager will resurrect her duties by helping me change my daughter’s diaper while the Editor-in-chief of Vogue holds for me on line one.

Image via Hannah Pasternak. 

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

Shopping, Period

February 9, 2016

Mom? Hi? You there?

Yeah. It’s me. I’m fine. Kind of. Yes. I just… I’m in the middle of my first period.

No, it wasn’t that much of a bloody mess. No, not as much as I thought it would be.

So… yeah… it’s difficult to, uh, physically maneuver and, like, find your way about it I guess? Yes, I will be careful about properly inserting something unnatural into a temperamental environment, or whatever. I don’t know why you have to word it like that– No, it’s just, like, very unnecessarily dramatic.

I’m being unnecessarily dramatic? You can hear it in my voice?? What the fuck does that mean, Mom?

I am feeling and acting totally normal right now.

Continue Reading…

It's a Girl Thing, Life & Other Drugs, Love & Romance

Security Blankets

April 26, 2015

I’ve been in two long distance relationships. I’d like to say that this is sheer coincidence and not a product of my intimacy issues, but that’s not important to the story and, truthfully, we’ll never really know.

So the whole thing about long distance relationships, and pretty much any relationship, is that you find yourself constantly missing the other person. You miss them more than just for who they are. Instead, you miss them for the things you didn’t even notice they had until they were gone. Like a smell, or a weird way they always, always put their arm around you. Stuff like that. Things that can, physically, go “missing.”

If I understand this so well, then I should have better understood why a boyfriend once asked if he could keep a pair of my underwear.

The conversation went like this:

[I am looking around his room for my jeans from the night before. Under his bed, I stumble across a particularly beautiful lavender lace thong of mine that was presumably left there from earlier that week.]

Me: Hey, look! I found this thong! I knew I was missing one! Yay!

Him: Haha.

[I put the thong in a pile with the rest of my things on his dresser. Hours pass, and we have to say goodbye for another extended period of time. I go to collect my pile from the dresser. He picks up the thong.]

Him: Can I keep this?

Me: Are you kidding? Or are you being serious? I can’t really tell so I’m just genuinely asking.

Continue Reading…

Life & Other Drugs

A Case for Breakfast

April 17, 2015

The-Standard-Rosenbergs-Bagels-The-Infatuation-Review-630x420For the first quarter of your life, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when “scientists” and “leading researchers” and “your mom” tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That’s because it’s hard for us to understand how a bowl of Lucky Charms could possibly be healthier than eating nothing. In my house, it was the Eggo waffles. Is some really poor nutrition, some empty caloried-frozen thing, better than no nutrition at all?

As we get older and flee the nest, it becomes a money thing. It becomes a time thing. Once we become more independent, we are faced with the truth that, to our dismay, nothing in life is accomplishable without money or time. This is especially applicable to eating breakfast.

Here’s a spoiler alert before we go any further: “scientists” at “NaturalNews.com“–which I trust because I feel like they probably give good face time to kale–say that breakfast is imperative for the following six reasons: “energy boost,” “help you focus better” (actually, if “breakfast” is the assumed subject of that sentence, it should be “helps you focus,” technically), “prevent you from gaining weight,” “boost your metabolism,” “help decrease your LDL cholesterol,” and “prevent heart attacks.”

With that in mind, breakfast is obviously CRUCIAL to LIFE. It is for me, at least. I’m a breakfast person.

I always have been. I say that not because I’ve always been so obsessed with breakfast, but because I don’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t eat breakfast. It was just… so… normal.

We were a cereal family growing up. Still, to this day, my younger brothers and my father all eat a bowl cereal together after dinner. It doesn’t matter how full they are, how the Cap’n Crunch mixes with the lamb chops and spinach aftertaste. It’s ritual. At my dad’s 50th birthday party, my mom had the ingenious idea of setting up a “cereal bar” for dessert. We love breakfast.

Breakfast has seemingly always been an important part of my life, which is, I think, perhaps the primary reason why I’ve become accustomed to its importance. I can tell you what two of my best friends in high school ate every day for breakfast, and that’s not because I ate breakfast with them every day. I actually never, on weekdays, ate breakfast with either of them, yet breakfast is just so important that I knew their routines just as I memorized mine. Caryn had an egg white omelet and sometimes a bowl of soup. Don’t ask. Nicole had a Dannon yogurt, not Greek, and a Luna bar. Ugh. I love those two.

I had cereal. Or granola. Then I’d go through phases of oatmeal. My mom loved making oatmeal and cream of wheat for me in the mornings. There was a short phase my senior year of high school where I gave up on breakfast. It was a time thing. The weird thing, though, is that I lost a sizable amount of weight my senior year of high school, which seemed to contradict the fact that breakfast helps you lose weight. I think that was a sort of magic trick on my end, also called “stress and anxiety and moderate symptoms of depression,” and today I can’t imagine not eating breakfast without needing a very serious brunch around 11am. I wouldn’t survive past then and, in the process, wouldn’t lose a pound.

The real case I have for breakfast, though, is that it is my coffee. I’ve become such a creature of habit, such a creature of breakfast, that I don’t feel fully awake in the morning until I’ve eaten it. I may or may not have convinced myself that I’m just super weak and malnourished in the morning and I need those nutrients to wake up and get moving. Maybe it’s true. I’m not sure. But I’m not a coffee drinker–only in times of desperate exhaustion–and the feelings I have pre- and post-breakfast are identical to the feelings coffee drinkers describe.

To put it in brief: breakfast starts your day off on the right foot. It is delicious. Breakfast foods are really some of the best foods. It revs the engine. It gives you something to look forward to the night before. Something to look forward to when you wake up.

Eat your breakfast.

Image via The Infatuation.