Friday, May 30, 2014

The most forgettable things that have happened to me as a woman

It's Friday and I'm nothing if not a creature of habit, so let's do this forgettable five business. This week I'm talking about the most forgettable things that have happened to me as a woman.

And by forgettable, I mean, I wish they were forgettable, but they're not. What am I talking about? Only the stupid, shitty things I've experienced as a woman. (You didn't think I was going to stay silent on the #YesAllWomen hashtag, did you?)

(via Giphy)
So let's talk.

1. Let's talk about that time a guy friend called me a tease because I didn't like him back. Or when that guy at a party wouldn't stop flirting with me despite my obvious disinterest and then insinuated at the end of the night that I was a bitch because I wouldn't give him a hug before he left.

2. Or that time a drunk, older man stepped right behind me as I was waiting to cross the street and whispered in my ear that he'd like to lick me all over.

3. Or maybe the time when some dipshit at a party grabbed my ass as I walking by while he stood with a group of friends. Or that other time in a club when that other person grabbed my ass.

4. Or how about that time when I was barely a teen and I turned around on a routine shopping trip with my mom to find two grown men staring and grinning at me and I was young enough to feel ashamed for their own shitty behavior and that shame stayed with me for days.

5. Or maybe we can just add up all the explicit catcalls over the years from men who knew it wouldn't get them anything but the chance to win a pissing contest I wasn't even involved in.

The reality is, in my daily life, I don't dwell on any of these things that I've numbered. Because a) in the grand scheme of things, they are only a sub-section in all of my life experiences and b) so, so, so much worse has been inflicted on other women. 

Nowadays, I'm able to brush off gross comments from random men without it affecting my day. Because I know it says nothing about me, and everything about them, but isn't that sad in itself? To become desensitized to it? 

That doesn't seem right. And it also doesn't seem right that I can't continue this conversation without asserting that no #NotAllMen contribute to this. Because god knows if I don't make this distinction nothing I've said is valid.

In fact, it's absolutely imperative we acknowledge only some men are like this so we can write them off as anomalies and just some weird brand of asshole, because otherwise that might mean we actually have to fix something in our culture... and I mean, fuck that, right?

It doesn't actually mean anything that every woman you meet can tell you a whole list of times they have been made to feel ashamed of their bodies for simply existing in public. It doesn't mean anything that the majority of rapists are men. Or that women have a history of being objectified in a way men simply don't.

Not when there are anecdotes to the contrary. Not when you have that one story about that one time a woman did a terrible thing. That shit trumps all.

Nevermind that we've also learned to conflate, "we have some gender-related issues in our society" with "all men suck and I hate them," because the latter is incredibly easy to dismiss and the former would require a little too much introspection.

But you know what really, really kills me?

This pervading attitude that something doesn't exist unless we've personally experienced it. Sexism? Racism? Homophobia?

Sorry, what was that? Something about misogyny? Oh well, uh, I didn't see it with my own eyes so, uh, I think you're just misunderstanding the situation. 

Oh, dear person. Go home.

No one was put on this earth to use their own limited experiences to validate the experiences of others.

Can we just keep repeating that over and over? YOU don't get to define what another person has experienced.

If you think something doesn't exist, it's because you haven't been on the receiving end of it. And that really shouldn't be a controversial statement.

Despite what I wrote earlier, those experiences I've listed above are forgettable at the end of the day on their own, but combined with the experiences of every woman I know, those things mean something. They mean something.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The things you learn living with another person

Today is the second anniversary of the first date between my boyfriend and me. Except, actually it's not. We messed up the date and our anniversary is really on the 29th (we think) but the 28th kind of stuck. So now it's our anniversary.

Our first kiss (when I was blonde and he was Adam Scott). via
It's also the four-month anniversary of living together. (Is that not a thing to celebrate?) And it's been pretty smooth sailing, but there really are some things you don't truly learn about a person until you live with them. Like, how did I not know he likes White Russians so much?

And also:

1. Every hobby of his is loud. Every single one. Whether it's his guitar, a video game or the latest TV show he's watching.

2. He likes to cook and he's good at it. I'd care that he's yet another person in the world who is better at cooking than I am, but that would mean I gave a shit about cooking.

3.We thought the second shower in our apartment would come in handy, but turns out I get up earlier than him even if he has to leave earlier than me.

4. He does his laundry way more than I do.

5. But he sucks at making the bed.

6. We can go to IKEA together without breaking up.

7.  We kind of, sort of agree on home decor. But I have to compromise on all of my shabby chic florals. And he has to compromise on all of the ugly dishtowels he's somehow amassed.

8. He owns a lifetime supply of koozies. Who saw that coming?

9. He likes terrible coffee. And is proud of it.

10. He doesn't appreciate wine as much as a reasonable person should.

11. He likes Grape Nuts, but doesn't like Lucky Charms.

12. His hair doesn't shed nearly as much as mine.

13. He also believes that shrimp cocktail, chips and guacamole and cocktail weenies make a great dinner.

14. His clothes take up half the closet. House Hunters did not prepare me for this.

15. His version of leggings (i.e. what I live in at home) is a pair of plaid pajama bottoms.

16. He likes Burn Notice entirely too much.

17. We both think popcorn is an essential food group.

18. Grocery shopping is way better with another person to split the bill.

19. Alone time isn't really a thing anymore.

20. He'll never understand The Real Housewives.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday's Forgettable Five #3: The most forgettable beauty advice ever

As someone who actively seeks out Youtube beauty tutorials for fun and has read every shitty women's magazine on earth, I've heard a lot of make-up advice. Some of it's good--like curl your eyelashes to look more awake.

And some of it's like this:

Tip #1: Brush dark eyeshadow along the sides of your nose to make it look smaller. 

This advice comes from Seventeen circa 1999 and was basically a precursor to today's contouring craze. But you know what wasn't available in 1999? Youtube beauty tutorials about how to contour. My sister and I brushed rigid strips of dark shadow onto our noses. Thanks, Seventeen. You could've at least told us to blend.

Tip #2: Rub a lemon wedge on your face to bleach freckles.

A) Fuck off with telling people they need to "fix" their freckles. B) Fuck off for thinking I'm going to rub lemon on my face. "Oh hi, my name's Katie and I cut up lemons to rub them on my face because that's the kind of shit I'm into." Uh yeah, no thanks.

Though while we're on the topic, can we please stop with the "I love my freckles" exclamations when describing the "imperfections" you love about yourself when the only freckles you have are an adorable smattering across your nose? I'm looking at you, Rachel Bilson.

Tip #3: Spray milk onto your hair. 

This tip comes from that same Seventeen issue. I don't even remember the benefits (though a google search tells me milk apparently helps make hair soft and shiny), but I do remember how fucking disgusting it made my hair. Who sprays milk into their hair? I guess I missed the part where you're supposed to then wash it out.

Tip #4: Ring your entire eye with eyeliner.

Look, Pippa and Kate. I know ringing your entire eyes with black eyeliner is your thing, but WHY? Have you ever asked yourself WHY? There's no better way to make small eyes look even smaller than defining that fact for everyone.

Tip #5: Don't drink out of straws to avoid mouth wrinkles. 

This advice is straight from Lauren Conrad, so do with that what you will. I'm just not sure I can relate to anyone who is so worried about wrinkles around their mouth that they don't drink out of straws. Is this the future?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Things that really are overrated

It only seems fitting to write about things that really are that overrated following in last week's footsteps. I asked myself if I really wanted to be that person, and the answer is yes. Of course I want to be that person.

So what really is that overrated?

1. Six-packs. This includes beer and abs. Unless they aren't my abs, in which case I'm all for six-packs.

2. Victoria's Secret. If it were up to them I'd be spending $50 on a bra that doesn't even fit me. Get it? I'm making fun of their shitty measuring methods. Because they're really shitty.

3. Sex and the City. Way to be relevant, I know, but sometimes I still flashback to how terrible that second movie was.

4. Old Hollywood. Oh? You love Audrey Hepburn? You don't say.

5. Crash. Emotional manipulation = Oscar gold.

6. Singers who reference better musicians in their songs. You know invoking their name doesn't give you their talent, right? (Sidenote: why is Radiohead the go-to for pop singers? Still love you, Katy.)

7. Chipotle. There I said it and I can't take it back.

8. Daft Punk. You're not a Grammy voter. You don't have to pretend to like them so people think you're hip.

9. Jelly Belly jelly beans. Remember when those used to be the shit? I pretended to like jelly beans for years because of that and now my office has a constant stash and I always grab a handful only to regret it after I eat their version of chocolate and black licorice.

10. Televised singing competitions. When's the last time someone actually had Carrie Underwood success from those things? (Don't prove me wrong by giving me examples. I don't care enough.)

11. Grey's Anatomy. Is this show still on?

12. iPhones. Nobody cares about your iPhone or the apps you have on it.

13. Grocery store gas stations. How is it that everyone and their mother is at all times at the same grocery store gas station?

14. Oysters. Advice for eating food shouldn't include, "just swallow it, don't chew."

15. Anything with the word casserole in it.

Monday, May 19, 2014

I'm failing at my New Year's resolution

For the past few years, my New Year's resolution has been to be more assertive. It's because in "real life," I'm horribly non-confrontational to the point where I don't stick up for myself when I should.

And I really, really want to change that.

But it's just not that easy when you're, well... horribly non-confrontational. I don't even like confrontation when I'm in no way involved with it. My heart starts going crazy and I get so much secondhand embarrassment, I'm practically involved anyway.

Don't get me wrong. I can be a bitch. But it's usually only when I'm drunk.

(via giphy)
Or, uh, when it's in writing.

Otherwise, I'm all about not making a scene.

My best friend is the total opposite and she'll gladly tell you exactly what she's thinking at all times and I keep hoping she'll rub off on me. But despite having a resolution to be more assertive, I've kind of failed over the years.

Which is why I've made myself this checklist of reminders for whenever I need to be assertive. Feel free to use it, my non-assertive sisters. I'm titling it:

You're 26. You Can Do This.

a) What's the worst that could happen? Someone doesn't like you? Who cares? (Ed's note: I care! I care so much.)

b) Rihanna would not be impressed.

c) Neither would Miley Cyrus.

d) It's called Cutthroat Kitchen, not Be Nice and Get Ahead Kitchen.

e) Ask yourself, "What would drunk Katie do?" And then do that. But less slurred.

f) Don't you want to be able to sing "Bitch" with a straight face?

g) Also, do you really want to spend the rest of your life listening to your coworkers apologize to you for cussing?

h) No, you fucking don't.

i) Regrets are for that hideous dress you once wore and nothing else.

j)  Timid people don't make history.

Do I need to go on?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Things people say are overrated but really aren't


1. Candles. Who ever complained about a room smelling too good? Give them to me as a gift--I'd love it.

2. Roses. You know who says roses are overrated? The same people who say how much they like orchids. I.e. people so original it hurts.

3. Weddings. I'm sorry what's wrong with a free party besides your need to project shit onto another person's festivities?

4. Chocolates for Valentine's Day. Where's the problem? Every time I'm at the grocery store I look to see if the Russell Stover's boxes are on sale. (They never are.)

5. Titanic. As if it's not the single greatest love story ever told.

6. Skinny jeans. I.e. the best pants invention in the last century.

7. Buffets. You mean I get to choose from rows and rows of food? I am so there.

8. Taylor Swift. Don't even go there.

9. Keira Knightley. Definitely don't go there.

10. Amy Poehler. You sure as fuck shouldn't go there.

11. Bridesmaids. You're right, there's nothing important about a female-driven comedy that was a huge commercial success and genuinely good. (Is that last point subjective? Don't care.)

12. Red lipstick. Oh shut up that it makes you look like a clown. It makes you look like a sex goddess and I won't hear otherwise.

13. Black eyeliner. You know what happens when I put on any liner but jet black? A part of my soul dies and I don't feel like anything is worth anything anymore.

14. Bangs. Yeah, yeah. Something about hipsters and bangs. But they just look too adorable on some people and I'm still sad I've never perfected the perfect angled bang.

15. The Walking Dead. Say what you want about this show but I've never been so upset* about main characters dying than in this show, which has to mean something. (*This includes the Red Wedding, okay. The RED WEDDING.)

16. Fishtail braids. Oh are they out of style? Don't even give a fuck.

17. Kale chips. Over kale by now? Well I just discovered it and this train isn't stopping.

18. Zooey Deschanel. I'll give it to her. I never appreciated her as a comedic actress until New Girl and for that I apologize.

19. Boxed wine. Is liking boxed wine basic? Then sign me up for being a basic bitch because I love it.

20. Peter pan collars. Oh? Are they infantilizing? I was too busy looking adorable to notice.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The dumb things we say

(via giphy)
Apparently I like to write about the stupid things people say. Well, everyone's got to have a trademark, right? And it's not like I don't say all these things too, so really we're all in it together.

What dumb things are we saying this time? So glad you asked:

1. "Stop with the [blank]-shaming."
I don't have an issue when shaming is preceded by slut, victim, body or etc (in fact I'm a total advocate of people indeed stopping that shit), but we've reached a point where every criticism of anything is being classified as some kind of shaming. Make-up shaming? Yeah, that's not a thing.

2. "Well that's your opinion." 
I learned in ninth grade English not to precede anything I say by, "in my opinion," because of course it's my opinion--I'm the one saying it. Except I still do it sometimes when I'm around particularly touchy people who don't know what to say when threatened by somebody else's opinion other than, "well that's just YOUR opinion!"

3. "I'm just playing the Devil's advocate."
No, what you're just doing is being annoying. Free speech and all that but not all opinions are valid and the devil's advocate is usually trying to validate a position that's stupid and shouldn't even be humored.

4. "[Blank] is problematic."
You know what's really problematic? The fact that you know something is offensive but you're not even eloquent enough to make a real statement about it. Form your thoughts and get back to me.

5. "I'm a truth cannon." (see also, "I just like to keep it real.")
What you are is someone who puts their foot in their mouth a lot (hey, I get it) and over the years, you've convinced yourself it's an adorable trait.

6. "That's so ironic."
I never use the word irony if I can help it. Why? Like most people, I barely know what it means.

7. "That's so funny." 
If it was soooo funny, you'd be laughing, not laughlessly telling someone how funny that thing they just said was.

8. "I hate drama." 
 Shut up. You love it. So do I.

9. "The founding fathers would be rolling in their graves."
Would they really? Or are you just projecting your own shit onto someone you've never met because romanticizing the past is an easy way to emotionally appeal to people?

10. Any buzz phrase in any Jason Aldean song ever (i.e. the lyrics to "The Only Way I Know.") "That’s the only way I know/ Don’t stop 'til everything’s gone/ Straight ahead, never turn round/ Don’t back up, don’t back down/ Full throttle, wide open."
The fuck does that even mean? What's everything? And what do you have to do to make it gone? Oh that's right. It's just one, empty "I work hard" buzz phrase after another. Thanks, Jason.

Bonus phrase: "That's so gay." What is this, 2000? Try harder.

Friday, May 9, 2014

The things my mother has taught me

(via realitytvgifs)
1. Wine is always the best drink of choice.

2. ER is and will always be a fabulous show.

3. Chrysler Sebring convertibles have their time and place.

4. Swordfish tastes like pork and you can trick someone who hates seafood into eating swordfish by telling them it's pork.

5. Celine Dion is a wonderful, beautiful creature to be cherished and adored.

How could you not love her? (via)
6. The Dixie Chicks are also pretty great.

7. Who you're with doesn't define who you are.

8. Olives soaked in martini juice are better than normal olives.

9. Sushi isn't so bad. Neither are mussels.

10. Judy Collins is a national treasure.

11. Incorporating a box into your Halloween costume never goes out of style. Jack-in-the-box, check. Christmas present, check. Dice, check.

12. Independent women were rocking it long before Destiny's Child.

13. Being in charge of your own finances is just what smart women do.

14. Eating healthy doesn't count on road trips.

15. Your twenties are for finding yourself and not for immediately settling down (unless that's what you want to do).

16. Watching rated R movies won't psychologically damage you as a kid.

17. Tipping well is just what you do.

18. Ellen was the best sitcom on TV.

19. Wine is the best. (Did I already say that?)

20. White zinfandel is the worst. The worst.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The thoughts you have during an MRI

The most stressful 20 minutes of my entire life were spent in an MRI machine yesterday. And, actually, I'm still kind of stressed about it.

It's not that I'm hugely claustrophobic--I can ride elevators perfectly fine. BUT I need to know that I can freely move. When the space is too small and I know I can't even sit up... well that's when I freak out. (i.e. why I'll never go spelunking.)

MRI machines? Yeah, they aren't very roomy. After one false start, when I made the nice technician let me sit up and just breathe, I managed to hold my anxiety together long enough for the 20 minutes the test would take, but it came at a cost. A holy-shit-stop-thinking things cost.

These are the thoughts you have in an MRI machine:

--Oh god it's happening. Don't open your eyes. For the love of god, don't open your eyes and see the tiny space you're in.

--Wait, no, it's okay, I'm on a beach in a nice big lounge chair and the sun is shining and I'm holding a margarita.

--Oh god no, I'm in a coffin. I'm stuck in it and I can't sit up.

--No, shut up, I'm on the beach. It's okay, it's not like I actually feel pressure on top of me. Oh god that would be horrible.

--Oh my god stop thinking about what it would be like to be trapped under debris.

--Shit. Am I being still enough?

--Am I moving? I can't tell if I'm moving. My fingers don't feel anything. Oh wait they are lying flat on the board.

--Am I lying crooked? Why is my body so disoriented from the rest of me? I'm lying straight. Why don't I feel like I'm lying straight?

--Oh shit my foot is twitching. Am I falling asleep? Please fall asleep.

--Okay, not possible with this drilling. So much drilling.

--Shit, did she just say I still have eight minutes left? Okay, that's not that bad. Just keep your eyes closed.

--Okay, I kind of want to open them. No don't. That's a terrible idea.

--I'm on a beach. I'm on a beach. I'm on a beach.

--Oh god, why didn't I request a sedative?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Oh hey another post about following your dreams

So college graduation is probably coming up soon. I don't really have any life advice, but I can tell you the question, "So what are your plans?" never becomes less annoying.

Your metaphorical life after graduation. (via)

My honest answer when I graduated college would have been, "Yeah I'm going to pretend for a couple years that I'm going to grad school but in the meantime I'm gonna go live in Australia where I plan on getting wasted every weekend with other backpackers."

Or, uh, something about finding myself through travel.

But, really, unless you're one of those lucky people who just knows what they want to do or you're brilliant enough that you were head-hunted by one of those fancy tech firms with a cool office and even cooler cafeteria, then it might be a difficult question to answer.

And it's probably not because you don't have any plans, but because they just aren't grand enough to share with someone who's expecting you to say something a little more... epic (sick of that word yet? Me too).

When I graduated, my plans to move to Australia weren't exactly nailed down so when people would ask me about them, I'd give some vague answer about my desire to travel with a nice, little addition about how I planned on applying to grad schools while overseas.

Yeah, that definitely didn't happen.

In between living in a new place, meeting new people and traveling all over the east coast of Australia, sitting down and researching grad programs was at the very bottom of my priorities. (My priorities, of course, being a 23-year-old living on her own in fucking Australia).

Now, it's been almost four years since I graduated and I still haven't gone back to school. My point is that plans change. It's just inevitable, and trying to nail down what you want to do with your life when you're barely even an adult is just setting yourself up for failure.

Hell, even contemplating what you want to do with your life is a luxury in itself that some people just don't have, and we've got to stop acting like not accomplishing all of our life goals in our twenties is tantamount to failing.

As a writer, I constantly compare myself to other young people who have gotten a book deal in their early twenties or who already report for a prestigious publication and it's just so pointless.

You never know who got to where they're at because of a lucky break, connections, money or because they are just that damn talented and driven, but the only thing that matters is that you're not them and comparing yourself to them won't get you any closer to your own goals.

Stereotypical success stories might inspire us to work harder and that's great, but in reality our criteria for success shouldn't be based on a person who was able to become a CEO by 25. It's just not a realistic goal and acknowledging that doesn't mean you've given up. 

So I've created some honest responses to the always wonderful, "So what are your plans?" question. Feel free to use them.

Question: SO, what are your goddamn plans?

Answer: "Yeah, I'll probably bum around my college town for a while before I relocate 1,800 miles away because I hate everyone in my college town."

Answer: "Chances are I'm going to get a job that has nothing to do with my degree and be miserable for the next two years before something finally opens up in my field... and then I'll realize I don't actually want to do that either."

Answer: "I'm going to travel because everyone tells me that's how you find yourself. Then I'm going to come home broke and annoy all my friends when I constantly talk about how traveling just changes you."

Answer: "I'm going to unexpectedly get pregnant in a year. Watch out for that."

Answer: "I don't know."

We have our whole lives ahead of us. We don't really need to peak in our twenties.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday's Forgettable Five #2

It's Friday, you guys, which means it's time for another round of Friday's Forgettable Five.

Instead of make-up, let's talk about the most forgettable drinks ever ordered at a bar. Because it's the weekend and it's time to make bad decisions. 

1. Sex on the Beach. Who actually likes this drink except for 16-year-olds who just like to say the word sex? Yes, bartender, please pour every disgustingly sweet ingredient you have into one cup. Sounds delicious. 

2. Double whiskey. We get it. You're cool. You forced that shit down until the taste didn't want to make you crawl into a hole and die anymore just for this moment when all eyes are upon you at the bar. Enjoy it, by all means. 

3. Vodka cranberry. A.k.a. my go-to drink in college. Or is it cranberry vodka? I don't know but some bartender once snottily corrected the order I said it in, so maybe that's when it started to go downhill for me. Or maybe it was when I threw it up all over my friend's carpet in front of a bunch of people. Who really knows. 

4. PiƱa colada. This drink never tastes like I want it to and that never fails to be endlessly disappointing. 

5. Belfast bomb. NEVER AGAIN. And not never as in "in two months" but NEVER. Maybe I'll write a blog post about what Belfast bombs do to a person sometime or maybe I'll just keep my shame secret. 

Please share with me the worst drink you've ever had, so we can be in this shame spiral together.