Sunday, July 29, 2012

12-Step Program

There are a few things in life that are guaranteed to give you an extra dose of sassy as you sashay down the promenade: a new hair cut, putting on jeans that fit JUST right, and alcohol. Ahh yes, alcohol. Pickling your brain in several martini glasses full of vodka (or 10 shots of tequila) can you make you happy. Euphoric. Brave. It can give you confidence that you didn't know you had (and probably won't again, until you drink more). It can also result in bad decisions, the world's most awkward pictures, and the ability to wake up to a text from some rando that says "heyyyyyy this is ___________ from [that bar your friends dragged you to], call me sometime ;)'. There are 12 steps in the Alcoholics Anonymous Program that are in place to help one recover and heal. There are also 12 steps in the going-out-and-getting-ridiculously-bamboozled progression. Here they are:

Step One: The Plan
This is when you're sitting around in your sweatpants, generally unhygienic and unfit for interaction with other members of the human race. Your roommate/friend/coworker yells out/calls/texts you, telling you to put on your drunk adventure panties, because that's right, you're going out. You look mournfully at your half watched movie, imagining the evening you could have lounging in a land without restrictive waistband or care. Plus, when you realize just how much effort and energy you're going to have to expend to get ready (all that showering, getting dressed, etc.) it just doesn't seem worth it. There are so many other things you could do instead....
Step Two: Pumping Up
...until you heard about that great deal at that bar. Or THE girl/guy you've had your eye on for what seems like a bazillion years is going to be there too. Or your roommates won't shut up until you say yes. It doesn't matter. YOU'RE READY NOW. GET OUT OF THE WAY, IT'S TIME TO PREPARE FOR DRUNKEN DESTRUCTION. 
Step Three: Getting Ready
Shower. Try on one outfit. Hate it. Throw it on the floor.  Assess rest of closet. Everything is stupid, let's just set it all on fire. Oh wait, there's that dirty thing in the laundry basket. I could wear that. That could work. Just spray some more cologne/Febreeze/perfume on it. No one will ever know. Apply makeup, accessories, hair gel, and hairspray as necessary. Then do round two of makeup, accessories, hair gel, and hairspray as necessary when the first time didn't work. Do that weird thing in the mirror where you contort yourself into several odd positions to check yourself out, okay, it's all looking good....excellent. Let the games begin.
Step Four: The Pregame
This is when you arrive to the party/your dining room/someone else's place. Everyone's getting started, mixing drinks, trying to start drinking games. Girls are judging each other's outfits, guys are exchanging bro-pleasantries. The music is loud, and everyone keeps checking their phones. "Did you call Jenny? Is she coming? Tell her to get more beer." 
Step Five: Getting Started
The drinking games have begun. The shots have been poured. Jenny has arrived with more beer. The music is blaring, and we're past the point of "oh, I'm just going to have only one drink, I'm going light tonight". Everyone is laughing, screaming, and being generally obnoxious.
Step Six: Oh, We're In It Now
Enough said.
Step Seven: I'm So Awesome
Ahhh, yes. At some point, you've left the pre-game and are now at the bar. This is the part of the evening where liquid courage is hitting you full force. You dance like a music video star, drink shots like a Tanqueray ad, and your hair has never looked better. Everything you do is amazing. Everyone is looking at you, because as I said, you're amazing. Why haven't you realized before that you're this awesome? Well, now you know. You sip a drink with a coy look on your face, because you just know someone is taking a mental snap shot of you in this moment. You should have your own reality show. Yesssssssss.
Step Eight: I CAN DO THAT
This is when all that internal awesomeness you are made of congeals into one super lump of amazingness. And boom. Nothing is impossible. I can climb that outrageously tall and not-meant-to-be-climbed object. I can drunk text this person without consequence. I can eat this. I can lick that. I can probably touch that high-up object. I'm going to parkour. I ACCEPT EVERY CHALLENGE. COME AT ME, OBSTACLES.
Step Nine: That Was A Bad Idea
You later come to realize that 95% of the things you just did were poor choices.  Insta-regret.
Step Ten: The Men Left Behind
The night winds down. You find yourself in a late night eatery, your kitchen, or a friend’s bedroom, snacking on any food that was easily reachable/sat still long enough. You discuss the play-by-plays of the night. You review who was the most epic, the most annoying, the most drunkenly sloppy. There is always mention of a ridiculous guy or a catty girl. Everyone curses that person as a group, thereby committing them to the Drunken Memory Hall of Fame. The conversation then turns to reflect on the friends who have gone off with some stranger, or who have passed out for the night. A moment of silence is held for them, for they are not here, eating this delicious pizza.
Step Eleven: Solitude
The 30 milliseconds before you fall into an alcohol induced coma. Any care, question, or concern you may have had throughout the evening will be dealt with tomorrow. Also, where did I leave my------
Step Twelve: Mother of God, What Happened
You wake up, slowly and painfully. The amount you drank last night directly correlates to the massive hangover you now have. Who let that elephant sit on your head? Why did I mix all those drinks last night? There is a beeline of objects (shoes, earrings, your wallet, a pen you stole, an overturned water glass, a bag of chips) leading to where you slept, X-marking-the-spot of your drunken progression towards the bed/couch/floor. You pat yourself on the back for making it home in one piece. You still have your credit card...well done, self. Then everything you did last night (or remember doing last night) hits you like like an express train. You said what? You made out with who? Mother of God....what happened? You spend the rest of the day recovering and piecing together the events of last night, Law and Order style. No text undissected, no drink undiscussed.

And always, at some point in the evening, there is a moment where you swear to yourself that you'll never do anything like this again. Until next weekend.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Planet Hollister

Once upon a time, I had a pretty friend who lived with me in a magical faraway land called College. This friend was sweet and fun, and she loved to go to football games and stay up late. One day, this friend decided that she wanted to be a princess. But she could only do this after going through a magical quest named "Rush". After many secret ceremonies and adventurous nights, she made it through Rush and got to live in a giant castle with other princesses! This castle was called Sorority, and it was decorated in Greek letters. It even had its own private chef who served the princesses delicious meals. Every week the princesses went to date parties and events to celebrate their royalty. They drank magical nectar named alcohol, and at every ball met new princes to be friends with. These princes would eventually write comments to the princesses on a magical mirror that they could both read, a mirror called Facebook. It was through my friend’s enchanted mirror that I discovered the princes. But these princes were not just any men, though. They were special men beamed down from a planet full of tanned, blond, super humans. This planet was called Planet Hollister.
Men from Planet Hollister actually do exist outside of fairy tales, frat houses, and male clothing advertisements for age group 18-25. I recently saw a gaggle of four of them downtown. Or should I say a troop of them? What is the appropriate term for a group of model-esque men, anyway? Either way, this group of guys looked (prettily) confused. Perhaps they were wondering where the camera crews were. Or hoping for a rigorous polo match to start. Or maybe they were all just trying to do a reflective pose at the same time. Because trust me, if any group of people set out to spend the day posing in different places, it was them. But it wasn't just the fact that they're model-ly. It's how they carry themselves, how they look. How they have a cologne force field around them. They are among us, but they are not like us. 

Planet Hollister sits (naturally) closer to the sun, so that its inhabitants can soak up every ray of bronze-y golden goodness. As a fellow brilliant anthropologist friend of mine (who also studies Planet Hollister) said: “these men travel in flocks, alternating between high fives, fist bumps, and that upward head jerks as greetings. They sometimes travel on foot, sometimes on moped (always two per scooter).” Their planet can also be referred to as “Planet StrongJaw.” The planet itself is full of beaches and meadows for its inhabitants to pose in. It only rains on the planet when everyone is wearing thin clothing that, when wet, can appropriately show off muscles.  

How does one identify a Planet Hollister resident? First and foremost, the defining characteristic: the chin. Their chins are made from some sort of material so strong that the bows of most ships are also whittled from it. This chin is also responsible for slicing through the air, creating an air gradient that effortlessly tussles the luxuriant hair of a Planet Hollister resident. Furthermore, their cheekbones can cut through glass. Their eyes, while of a silky chocolate brown or an oceanic crystalline turquoise, are usually lifeless. They naturally emit the odor of a musky forest through their pores (this odor isn’t real or possible on Earth. Cologne companies, however, have been trying to manufacture and bottle it for years). They have an inherent knowledge of all things related to board shorts, ab muscle definition, and being ridiculously good-looking. They are masters in the art of staring into space thoughtfully, without actually thinking anything. They know two looks: pouty pensive, and pouty happy.

Seeing these men stand before me in the city like a glittering mirage of attractive surf gods was temporarily blinding. It also made me wonder what it would be like to constantly live life inside of an Instagram photo. Should you ever come across such a specimen, take note, for they are a rare and intriguing study. Here's a tip from my field guide: to attract a Planet Hollister resident, the most time-proven and successful greeting call is "Bro".

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mirror Mirror

I recently met a guy who is my type of attractive: tall(-er than me), dark, and handsome. When I met him, I managed to not completely show my normal-somewhat-similar-to-anaphylactic-shock-god-I-think-you’re-purdy reaction. However, my internal freak out was the same rating on the Richter scale as a 14-year-old girl who’d just seen Justin Bieber do his copyright mini whiplash hair flip in person. If I’d had a couple more minutes in Mr. Handsome’s presence, I’d likely have required a fainting couch and smelling salts. Add in his sarcastic sense of humor and his nice smelling cologne and ding! Immediate wow-we’re-about-to-go-back-to-junior-high-where-I-say-I-‘like-like’-him (why do the two like’s immediately convey something more significant?) crush. 

It’s funny how hyperaware you are of yourself once you’re interacting with someone you want to matter to. All of a sudden, you start seeing yourself through their eyes, and oh boy, is THAT mirror unattractive. You start to question your physical attributes. Your word choices. Your past 5 meals (was it necessary to eat that garlic bread 3 days ago? Why don’t you just have halitosis and be done with it, hmmm?). Your personal hygiene regimen, which as of 10 minutes ago was completely acceptable, is suddenly scrutinized and picked over with a fine tooth comb. Like, when I was next to this guy, I started to get just a little bit high off the scent of his cologne. Which made me then wonder what I smelled like. Did I apply the appropriate lotion, deodorant, perfume mix? Or do I now smell like some sort of Bath and Body Works atomic bomb? And then, while I was looking up at him because he looked down at me (as I’m sure he was wondering why this girl was invading his personal space while inhaling deeply and creepily with a good amount of headgear-remniscent mouth breathing), I became incredibly aware of how often I blink. One, two, three, seventeen, four hundred. What am I, some sort of naked mole rat who can’t stand light? OPEN YOUR EYES, MOLLY. GET YOURSELF TOGETHER. THEN I realized all of a sudden (while reaching out my hand to move something) just how much arm hair I have. Have I always had that much? Since when? Have I recently been on the same steroids that disqualify female athletes from professional sports? Good god, I’m the missing link between man and ape!

I think the most interesting (and most shallow) part of this whole interaction was that based on nothing but this guy’s cheekbones and well-toned arms, I wanted him to notice me. What I felt wasn't "right", and I'm not proud of it. But it made me think about the effect our looks have on others. Beauty is an interesting thing. Country music tells me beauty is a girl with baby blues, long legs that can worrrrrk a pair of jeans, and soft hair. Chick lit says that it’s a tall guy with thick bountiful hair and thicker and more bountiful muscles. Playboy says….duh. Hipsters say beauty is someone who looks put together “without trying”, (but to me, they just look fashion-confused and crazy). Disney movies say it’s a girl with a button nose, giant eyes, and a waistline roughly the size of a thimble. Pinterest says a lofty quote about beauty being in the eye of the beholder, and then shows me a picture of a Mason jar. Cosmo tells me beauty is being my awesome confident self, but then fills their magazine with airbrushed photoshopped-beyond-belief models. Cologne advertisements say it’s a guy who’s climbing out of the water, riding a horse, playing polo, or just looking generally pouty. All in all, I’d say beauty is relative. 

I’ve taken some pretty drastic measures for my looks. I don’t regret my choices, but they do put into perspective for me just how important looks can be to people, although the subsequent statement “and rightfully so” is up for debate. I do think there's something to be said in beauty relating to how you take care of yourself, and how you present yourself. At the end of the day, the most beautiful person is the person who is proud of themselves, and shows themselves off because of it. It turns out that this tall dark and handsome gentleman that had me all atwitter actually has a personality that made me not so inclined to stick around (and by that I mean I'm running in the other direction). It really is about what you bring to the party, and who you are as a person. One of my guy friends recently reminded me that it’s a whole lot more important to be clever and witty than it is to be pretty or handsome, both guys and girls included. I mean, one day we'll all hit a point where the only thing that takes the focus away from our wrinkles and osteoporosis is a good sense of humor. So Mirror Mirror on the wall, who cares? ;)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wide Awake

I think one of the biggest and most under-appreciated signs of intimacy between two people is being able to sleep together. And I don’t mean “sleep together” in that giggly I’m-15-years-old-and-raising-my-eyebrows-suggestively-because-I’m-not-actually-talking-about-sleeping way. I mean literally sleeping together. It takes a whole lot of bravery and fortitude for 2 people of any gender or relationship status (friends, enemies, family members, significant others, etc.) to willingly enter a bed or other sleeping arrangement together. Sleeping together is intense. You climb onto a surface with no dividing lines, lay flat within someone's personal space, and close your eyes while wearing no armor. That's pretty freaking vulnerable. And even if you know that you're safe with that person, good god almighty, people. You might start out the night in bed with the person you love, but you can wake up with a rabid wildebeest.

There are several types of sleep "personalities", if you will. Everyone has one. It’s like a person’s handwriting. Everyone knows that that’s how you sleep, and once they see it, it can’t be undone, or really changed. However, unlike people who study handwriting and say it “tells a lot about a person” (Really? The fact that I write like an arthritic octopus means that I’m optimistic and unorganized? Oh, wait. Never mind”), I refuse to believe that the way you sleep indicates what type of person you are. Otherwise…we’re gonna have problems.  

Here is my compiled list of sleep personalities. I'm sure a more intelligent and motivated human being could/would take the time to figure out their compatibilities, like an astrology chart. But anyway:

The Snow White/Angel: 99% of my friends seem to sleep this way. They slumber with their mouths closed, curved into an almost smile. Sometimes their hands are folded delicately under their faces. They don’t drool, leave their allotted bed space, or snore. Their bodies are posed in a somewhat similar fashion to those of a model in a magazine advertisement for mattresses. They delicately float to bed, and often wake in the morning to sing with the birds, play with deer, film a Folger's coffee commercial, or do whatever else morning people do before the unholy moment of the sun's rising. I wouldn’t know.

The Clinger: You wake up next to them and they are so far into your space that you’re unsure where they end and you begin and oh my god, hello nose hairs, how you doin’. After waking up next to them, you immediately start to figure out which of your appendages needs to be chewed off just to freaking escape to a safe distance. Apparently, someone taught these sleepers to get a warm body into their outstretched grasp and just HANG ON. And almost always, these types of sleepers wake up with a creepy and uncomfortably soft-spoken "hi".

The Kracken: Kracken sleepers thrash around. They drool unbelievable amounts. They breathe with an open (or should I say gaping) mouth, and their night time breathing sounds are somewhat similar to those of a sleep-apnea machine. Or a feral raccoon. They are in no way, shape, or form attractive as they slumber. They wake up in an uncomfortable splay of limbs (and in my case, crusty eyeliner), usually with a giant yawn that says "yes, please ask me about my morning breath". This is how I sleep. Future sleepover party friends and men-folk: call me maybe.

The Dead Man: Not much explanation needed here. These people enter a REM cycle and become corpse-like. They don't move, don't breathe, and don't wake up unless an elephant collapses 3 inches from them. Their display is so intense that you find yourself thinking of the explanation you're going to need when the police show up to find the dead body. Oh wait, an eyelash just fluttered. Thank God.

I have told my friends many times that they should prepare themselves for "the morning after" when they sleep next to me. The sight of me in those fresh moments after the ringing of an alarm clock is bone-chillingly terrifying. If you Wikipedia "The Wrath of God", you should see a related link with a description and picture of me half awake, no make up, drool encrusted, and full of pillowcase creases on my cheeks. I'm somewhat confident that the test of my true soul-mate is not a heroic gesture or a grand act of love, but instead the ability of that person to not run screaming from my home after we wake up together under the same blanket. But maybe that's what love is between two people. Not only do you accept them for all of their faults, but you sleep with them, in spite of their sleeping personalities. Now that's sacrifice.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Single Girls Anthem

Alllllll the single ladies, Allll the single ladies. Raise your hands up. Oh, okay, good, now I can see you. I hope you’re all doing well. I’ve gathered you here today to talk about something that is very serious: our lack of significant others. Oh, what’s that single men? You want to get in on this action too? Brilliant. Let’s all sit down in our chairs with our stale coffee cake. I’ll start: “Hi, my name is Molly. And I am a Single Girl.” *pause for tears, a dramatic gasp, perhaps an uncomfortable cough* Okay, good. Now you guys say: “Hiiiiiii Molly”.

I bring up this Singles Anonymous meeting because I was recently asked, “Why don’t you have a boyfriend?” Of all the questions I’ve ever been asked (“Can I show you my gangrenous foot?”, “Is that your real hair?”, “Which underwear should I use to please my man?”, “Why are you so tall?”, “What do you mean, you’re still hungry?”), this is one of my least favorite and most uncomfortable queries. When this person asked me the question, it was said in a tone that indicated that perhaps I had chosen to have a disease. That perhaps I had elected to be “single” (a word whispered in hushed tones), ensuring that I would waste away on a fainting couch, smelling salts and handkerchief clutched in hand. His eyes were sad…the same sad eyes I imagine all of the animals on Noah’s Ark had when they looked at their unpaired friends on land. “Oh, there’s our friend Dodo bird. Doesn’t seem to have his mate…guess he can’t come on the cruise with us. Hopefully we’ll see him when we get back.” (OH MY GOD, I JUST FIGURED OUT HOW DINOSAURS BECAME EXTINCT). As I get older and go to more weddings/family gatherings/Important Events, the question is more often repeated. It’s a weird phenomenon: is there something I don’t know about? Is there an expiration date on single people? Is there another flood coming up where I need to get my pair-mate, or else?!

To me (and please correct me as necessary) there are some disparities between living in the land of singledom and being relationshipped off to Happily Ever After. A coupled-up girl will (usually) call her boyfriend first if her car stops working. I call AAA in a panic, trying to indicate that what happened was not my fault (“The battery died on its own, I swear). A coupled-up girl might watch a romantic comedy and feel her heart warm at the memory of that SUPER cute thing her boyfriend just did for her. I watch one of those movies and outwardly say “lol soooooo stupid”, while internally penning a diary entry: Dear Diary, I can’t wait until Prince Charming arrives. I already have my music montage and outfit sequence planned out. A single girl may moan over dinner and drinks with her friends that she just wants to be liked, and she’s tired of waiting. A girl who already found her significant other might thank her lucky stars, and offer whatever words of advice she can. There are a zillion experiences and thoughts that single girls/guys and coupled girls/guys have regarding their “relationship status”. Those thoughts make single and non-single people incredibly similar or incredibly different, depending on the time. Either way, someone (okay, I) will always think the grass is greener on the other side. I imagine relationships as being perfect entities filled with a constant live feed of unicorns, rainbows, fireworks, yawning puppies, and magic. In reality, I know that they are hard work with their own set of pros and cons, but that the benefits usually outweigh the cons. Also, being single has its perks: I don’t have to answer to anybody, I can be selfish with my time (and my food), I depend on myself and grow accordingly, nd I don’t have to have a panic attack before meeting someone’s parents.

When I was asked why I didn’t have a boyfriend, I responded with “I don’t know, ask the male population”. And then I realized that that’s the wrong answer. That implies that I’m just Rapunzel-ing my way through life, hoping someone comes riding up to my tower and asks me to lower my streaming, strong-enough-that-a-man-can-just-shimmy-on-up-there hair. (Seriously, what conditioner did she use? Pantene Pro-V? I KNEW IT). That’s not the case. Like all people out there, I’m just living my life until I meet that person. And after I meet them, I’ll continue to live my life. ;)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Movie Trivia

I’ve had a lot of vacation time off of work recently, so I’ve been able to lie in my relaxation chrysalis at home. By this, I mean that I don’t move from my couch (or out of my sweatpants) for hours. Personal hygiene becomes optional, and I slowly begin to think that yes, I do need that product on that infomercial. How I haven't I realized this before?!

I have a thousand movie channels, so I generally flip between them while continuously telling myself that “yes, tomorrow I will start working out. Tomorrow will be the day”. After watching a few hundred movies, however, I have come up with several troubling questions regarding common movie themes. And I want answers.

1)     Why do 27-year-old models play teenagers on the big screen? It’s not like there’s a shortage of acne-prone, gangly, malformed pre-adults out there. Please, casting directors, feel free to go to a nearby high school, slap a pound of cover-up on however many teenagers you need, and throw them in front of a camera. I mean, teenagers don’t look (or act) the way movies pretend they do. If they did, there would be no need for ProActiv. Or breast implants.

2)     Why are dance battles basically a judicial system for movies? They’re like a more modern and rhythmic form of frontier justice. Did you just win a dance battle? Great! You’ve won the ten zillion dollar prize. All of your problems are solved. You will win your house back. You will get the pretty girl. Your parents will accept you, now that they’ve seen that one dance you did just five minutes ago. You will get into that prestigious dance academy. The other dance crew will fade away into an ecstatic crowd (but seriously, where do all these people come from to watch dance battles), never to bother you again...until the movie's sequel.

3)     Would Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton’s relationship survive successfully without Johnny Depp? I mean, they all appear to need to work together on every movie like some sort of crazy haired tripod, so I just assume that if one of them broke away, the whole gothic dynamic would just kind of crumble.

4)    How do people in musicals all know the same dance/song? I have been asking this question since I was a child. I think musicals, by default, have no credibility to their stories because there’s NO way all of them can know the same routine without some sort of previous rehearsal. As a clearly already jaded youth, I used to ask my parents, “how does everyone in the town know the same dance? Is there some type of weekly musical dance rehearsal in the town square? I think not. IT’S NOT POSSIBLE”

5)    The whole laughing-into-crying-transition-while-sinking-down-the-wall maneuver that girls do in movies, generally while reading something sentimental. Why. No further description necessary.

6)    My personal favorite and oft-discussed topic: why is there always rain in a dramatic romantic fight? I feel like a romantic argument (“You bet on/insulted/can’t commit to our relationship?” “You don’t understand that thing-I’m-not-telling-you-that-I-hope-you-figure-out-on-your-own?!” “You don’t get me?!”) automatically increases the amount of precipitation in the air. It sends out a weather forecast of torrential downpour within a week, because several days (and 15 movie minutes) after said argument, the couple will eventually reunite after running several blocks to meet each other. The water will wash away their past transgressions and previous opinions. Uplifting and romantic (but still sentimental) music plays in the background, as the guy lifts the girl off the ground and they twirl in the rain, laughing. Literally, only in the movies. Who had this idea? Why does this happen?

7)    Why does no one stop the usually-young-blond-hot girl from entering the dark cabin on her own in horror films? I mean really, who thinks yes, this is a good idea. Let’s have our friend disappear alone into this cabin without some sort of buddy system or cell phone in place. It’s not like where we currently are in this abandoned forest/abandoned home/abandoned road is unbelievably terrifying. Let’s send her in on her own. I’m sure she’ll be fine.

8)    How many Final Destination movies can there be? Have we not reached our final destination yet?! Is it even remotely in sight? Can I please have a map.

Someone, help me. Please. I just want to know.