2018, college, Humor, Life, Millennials

One year on from graduation: EAT, GAY, LOVE

It’s officially been one year since I graduated from college, and I weirdly felt fine about it. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that I was working that day – nothing distracts you like an endless array of customers screaming about groceries – but it also could probably be attributed to the fact that I spent literal months stressing and freaking out about the fact that I was graduated that I think I exhausted it out of my body.

But the official end of the first year, even without the heart palpitations, made me take stock of what I’ve accomplished since then. Lol! !!

🙂 EAT 🙂

Part of the unspoken (but passive-aggressive) rule of moving back home was that I was going to responsible for cooking dinner. This wouldn’t be a problem (I’d been cooking for myself for over two years !) except for the fact that my family is both rude and not shy about criticizing my cooking.

So I really tried to be better about cooking (i.e. not burning things and calling it “intentional” or “crispy”), and I’m excited to bring that with me in my next iteration: as a gay monster and University of Southern California Annenberg graduate student. My mom keeps saying, “Your roommate will be so impressed!” which for some reason, like, does not inspire confidence. “My mom thinks I’m a good cook!!” doesn’t roll off the mature tongue.

Before this year, I don’t think I knew what “dredging” was, and now it’s literally my favorite thing to do to chicken and white fish. Also, I never cooked white fish before!! Now I love a good sole!! A year ago, I was microwaving potatoes, and now I’m literally so obsessed with finding the perfect method for making sweet potato fries that I’m going to write a blog post about it.

😉 GAY 😉

The second, and skinniest, thing I accomplished is mah body. I feel weird talking about my body for like 8000 reasons, but one is that I’m thin. I’ve generally always been thin, and – thanks to future medicine and the plastic surgery I plan on getting – I’ll probably stay thin. But to combat depression and a freelance lifestyle, I recommitted myself to the gym and lost 20-ish pounds this year.

I knew going into this body journey that it could be a dangerous path: when I was at my most depressed, the gym was a salve that gradually became a crutch. I was obsessed with going, because when I was there I could zone out and forget everything else.

I think I went into this year of fitness a different way, and I set weight goals, yes, but I also set goals outside of weight loss. I’ve written about this before, but I became obsessed with doing unassisted pull-ups. Upper body strength was never a huge part of my workout-life; in high school, I was a long- and mid-distance runner, where the emphasis was put on stamina and pacing (shorter distances place a higher premium on upper body strength). So I never really thought about pull-ups, and kind of dreaded them.

But as I started working out more – and probably aided by losing a few pounds – I began feeling the unassisted pull-up coming into my grasp. Currently, I can do 4×4 unassisted pull-ups (with 12 lbs dumbbells clamped between my thighs) and 4×4 unassisted chin-ups. My new goal is to do 3×8 pull-ups (I’m currently able to do one set of eight, and can maybe do two sets on a good day).

Setting these goals that existed outside of any weight loss put the emphasis not on cutting calories or excessive cardio, but building up my strength. I began feeling like I was training to be some sort of gay, chic spy. I’ve leaned out more, and I can see the whisper of those 11 abs that lady yoga instructors have sometimes. Goals. Also I’d like to hit (however briefly) 169 pounds for the hilarious joke. It will not be funny to anybody but me.

😀 LOVE 😀

Despite the fact that I’ve gone back – officially – on dating apps, this section is not about my quest for a man. I know that my future husband, wherever he is, is probably in his last year of medical school, and has to gather a net worth of a couple mill before we even meet. And I love that for me, and he loves that for me.

I’m talking about self love. I went back into therapy this year, after a tumultuous few months away from it. and while it has not been easy – it’s actively been very hard – and I don’t think I’m nearly there yet, I feel like the work I’ve done, and the realizations I’ve made, have been very positive and very important for me. A lot of therapy is recognizing patterns you’ve engaged in, how they relate to larger behaviors, and what those behaviors mean in the grand scheme of your psyche. It sounds kinda simple, but lol it is tiring y’all.

🙂  😉  😀

I’ll be honest, I’m sure I would feel very differently about this year being up if I didn’t have my next step planned out. I’m excited to go onto my next step, and I can breathe a little easier on this anniversary knowing that I’ve got at least one thing in the future planned.

It also matters very much to other people. It’s socially acceptable, in what I’ve witnessed, to have something coming down the pike. People like knowing that you’ve got some sort of plan that fits into what they think you should be doing.

I had a customer the other day lean over and say, eyes kind and completely unaware of how condescending her question was, “Do you know what you want to do with your life?” In her eyes, working at Trader Joe’s was not good enough; it had to be a transitional station and not a destination. So I can’t pretend that part of my chillness about being a year out from graduation is the fact that my plan lines up with societal expectations on me.

This took a turn, but it’s all connected in my mind. This year out of school has been emotionally trying; facing professional uncertainty, rejection and trials have really made me think about what I want to pursue. And while I’m currently so excited and happy about where I’m going, it’s important for me to acknowledge that this year was not just about passing time or waiting for the next thing to come along. This year, in its entirety, was meant for me – it was meant for me to grow and to challenge myself and to experience new, sometimes uncomfortable, things.

I’ve included this because it’s a bop and it’s what i’m listening to as i’m editing this. 

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college, Essay, Halloween

NO PICTURES

As I was on a (what would turn out to be over four hours in the rain and two iterations of Taylor Swift’s 1989) drive back from my Boston Halloweekend, I realized – mid-eating a Chicken McNugget – that I hadn’t gotten a picture for Instagram the entire weekend. “Fuck!” I said, mouth muffled by “meat.”

And over the next few hours, as I caught up on all the social media I had missed – all the Halloween Instagrams of people in their various costumes, all the posed Snap stories and (let’s be realistic) Instagram stories – I felt more and more annoyed. I had let a prime social media weekend slip through my fingers like sand, or silk, or (most realistically) me dribbling a basketball.

It was the second time I was in Boston in October, and I had – on both occasions – made a plan to take a cute Instagram with my friends and completely forgotten. It’s a sober truth, I’ve realized, that when you’re a freelance writer-journalist (slash full-time inspiration and model), your chances for taking cutely candid Instagrams are severely limited. Either I’m working, writing, sleeping, eating, watching Netflix or doing some combination of the aforementioned. And unless my followers want endless versions of my dog with the exact same photo filtering (I do an opaque shadow, get used to it), there’s a limit to the content I’m naturally coming into contact with.

Getting an Instagram is more than an exercise in vanity. This might be dumb – do you know me? – but social media is as much a cultivation of personal branding as it is to remember moments. I want to work in media, and understanding various social media platforms, and being active on those platforms, is important to me. And in a post-grad world where I’m a very small fish in…the ocean? A galaxy? It helps me feel connected to the larger world. And yes, I use those photos for Tinder. Sue me.

Before I came up to Boston in the beginning of October, I texted my best friend. “We have to take a photo together.” She agreed (she loves photos of me). But with the time constraints of balancing family and friends, we forgot. I spent my hours with her, and my other friends, drinking at our favorite bar, hanging out at home, getting brunch. I drank up their presence like a sunflower; it had been so long since I had seen them in person. And I just missed them. And I didn’t want to miss any of them by separating myself through a screen.

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college, Essay

IN MY LANE

I’ve been avoiding going on Snapchat. And when I do go on, I avoid the Stories of my friends and peers, preferring to stick to innocuous celebrities and “influencers.” I’m avoiding Snapchat because I’m jealous, and if I see one more “I’m employed” snap, I might crack my iPhone over my knee and use the shard to slit a jugular.

So staying off Snapchat is a way to protect me from me, and more specifically, my jealousy. It’s hard not to be jealous around this time. People are broadcasting their successes on social media—suddenly we’ve turned into our parents and narrate every goings-on digitally: “Insert Name is so pleased to announce that I’ve accepted a job at Such&Such! Message me if you’re also moving to (this place)!”—and those that aren’t are silently stewing or, in my case, broadcasting their feelings on their blog.

But jealousy is a complex emotion—particularly right now—because it’s hardly ever just jealousy. It’s jealousy mixed with pride for your friends and their accomplishments, soured by a seething monster named “Why Not Me” and reddened by anger at yourself for not just being blindly and simply happy. So you’re jealous and happy and resentful and self-admonishing and stressed and depressed and can’t stop eating French fries.

I realized I was becoming jealous but I wasn’t able to really verbalize why. Why was I gritting my teeth so hard bone shards were popping out of my mouth? Why were there half-moon crescents on my palms from my nails? For me, the most lingering of the emotions was shame—embarrassment that I have not gotten a job but the more pressing shame of being so jealous. No one wants to believe that they can get jealous, particularly over others’ success, but I think—at least for me, and I’m hoping others—naming it and saying it out loud can help process through it.

A friend of mine—someone who has made regular appearances on this blog, Nina—said something that’s stuck with me since I vented about it Saturday night.

“Do you want to switch places with them?” she asked as I took a sharp staccato breath after ranting until all air had been squeezed from my lungs. “Do you want their lives?”

I thought about it for a second. Everyone I was jealous of…I wasn’t particularly jealous of what they had achieved, only that they had achieved something. And the accomplishments I’ve made seemed paltry and invisible in the face of a tactile job offer, a definite plan.

“No,” I admitted. “I don’t want their lives.”

“So,” she shrugged and leaned back in her chair, “if you don’t want their lives, wouldn’t want to switch, then you don’t need to be jealous.” And just like that, the stoppered green bottle in my chest loosened and exhaled a little bit. It didn’t empty completely, but I felt some pressure alleviated.

I’m happy for them and in the same breath I’m anxious for myself. It’s not weird or bad or good—it just is. And if I can separate my own emotions and name them and recognize them, I can begin the process of staying in my lane. There is not a finite amount of success, especially not across industries. One person succeeding in this moment does not mean that my moment has spluttered out on the floor. Stay in your lane, and focus on your end-point.

On Friday, I found out that I’m graduating magna cum laude for my journalism degree and cum laude for my English (English, wtf, I’ve been speaking you forever). In the moment, I diminished it because I thought, “Hey, that didn’t get me any jobs, so what does it even matter?” But after telling a few people and having them be excited, I reconsidered. If you know me in real life, I’m constantly cutting emotion with humor and I have a chronic disability to receive a compliment.

But these Latin honors are more than just Latin honors. During college I started to grow (started—haven’t finished yet). I came to terms with my own depression and anxiety and went on medication. I went to London and interned. I started my blog, this very weird, wonderful blog, as a method for self-expression and honing of my own voice. I got two degrees in four years. I had an on-campus job and worked as a fashion writer and city editor and a radio DJ and a copywriter and blogger and did plays and organized events and gave tours. I started going to the gym and coming to terms with my own body issues. I made friends. I lost friends. I made new ones. I came into my queerness. I traveled to six countries and countless cities. I wrote pages and pages of articles, blogs, essays. Hundreds of Instagrams, thousands of Tweets. Walks in chilly night air and in hot summer heat. I was sad, I was happy.

These might seem small or big or extreme or obvious—but that’s kind of the point, no? I’ve had millions of experiences, kaleidoscopic and varied and sharp. And I’m here. I fought the good fight. We all did. I cried and laughed my way to the top (some moments had more of one or the other).

And the point is that these things shouldn’t be erased because I don’t have a job lined up right away after graduation. In fact, I refuse to them be erased. I became a more full and depthful and wide and colorful person. Every moment, good or bad or heartbreaking or joyful—these things don’t lose their meaning because I don’t know where my foot will land next.

I’m looking forward to the future, but this past has been great. Horribly, wonderfully, weirdly great.

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college, Essay, Politics

ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: MY NIGHT WITH REPUBLICANS

Names have been changed, except the name of that nail polish. Originally submitted as a piece for my Columns & Editorials class.

Last night I went to my first College Republicans meeting. I’m working on a story about political engagement among college students post-election, and when researching political party groups on campus, I found out they were having a meeting that very night.

I don’t know what I thought I would be walking into, but it wasn’t what I assumed. Okay, I knew what I thought it would be—a Nazi circle-jerk, or an anti-Obama pile-on. I expected Make America Great Again hats and enough Vineyard Vines to clothe an entire village.

There was only one MAGA hat but, I assumed, they all had some in their closets. There were a lot more women than I expected, at least half but maybe more. Traitors to their gender, I thought. How can they side with someone who is so anti-women? And there were people of color. Stockholm Syndrome, I reasoned, or internalized xenophobia. The white, presumably straight, guy in a quarter-zip and Patriot’s baseball cap was soaked in so much privilege that anything he would say was bound to be offensive. But in what’s usually the case, per the principle of Occam’s Razor, the simplest answer is usually the truest. They weren’t brainwashed or spies or masochists. They were just Republicans.

The meeting began with typical housekeeping. In light of the new presidency, they hoped to up their meetings from once every three weeks to something more frequent, and then they bandied around ideas for speakers they could get for their semesterly big function. Bill O’Reilly, I learned, is a BU alum, and one girl thought he was worth reaching out to.

After, the conversation turned to discussion. The latest news: The inauguration, and who among the group had attended. The nomination for Supreme Court of Neil Gorsuch. They said it was a “Merrick Garland type of decision,” meaning a more centrist pick that both sides could agree on. The immigration ban, which a College Republicans executive board member, Rocky, said (a common response) was “executed very, very poorly.”

Marianne talked about the immigration ban, sharing that her boyfriend (a green card holder from a “non-white, non-Christian” country) was afraid that if he left America, he wouldn’t be let back in.

Getting visibly upset, she said, “No one should be afraid of that; that if he left for Engineering Without Borders to do work in Africa and came back on a connecting flight through Dubai…” She trailed off.

A lot of the conversation, the feelings of dealing with rabid liberals who operated purely on emotion and attacked without information, was uncomfortably familiar to me. The sense of defeat when having a conversation with someone on the far other side. Frustration with how polarized everything seems to be. Swap any of the names, and I could’ve easily been sitting in on a group of liberals talking about zealous Republicans.

“It’s hard being the elephant in the room, literally and figuratively,” said Robert, one of the club’s executive board members. That earned major laughs from the members, and even a surprised one from me. Who knew Republicans could have jokes? He was answering in response to Lydia, a Chicago native who was relieved to find a group of like-minded people in such a liberal city.

“So it’s nice to have, well I don’t wanna say the word “safe space” but…” said Robert, laughing again.

They were tired of being demonized, of being labeled as Nazis or homophobes or xenophobes or racists or misogynists, and the list goes on and on. To be fair, it’s a pretty long list. Tired of everything being labeled “the end of the world,” a sentiment, they pointed out, is always expressed by the opposing political side to the president. But the sense that I got from most of them was that their primary motivation for voting Trump was either loyalty to the Republican party or fiscal.

Robert told a story about his Republican parents and his upbringing in Michigan. His mother grew up in Detroit in the sixties and seventies, and was witness to the decline of the industrial community.

“When we heard “Make America Great Again,” that’s what we associated it with,” he said. Not the takeback of the country from diversity, but the bringing back of industrial jobs into areas that are starving without them.

When I asked the group if they felt a disconnect or conflict between being a millennial and being a Republican, their hands were raising before I even finished the question.

“I’m socially more liberal, but fiscally more conservative, so I identify myself as more of a moderate,” said Stacey. That sense, that as Republicans they were most caught up in fiscal matters, seemed to resonate amongst everybody. And when Stacey said the (I assumed) most-hated statement, “I voted for Hillary Clinton,” no one recoiled. No one threw anything at her. Her conflict, between Republican and millennial, was one with which they could all identify.

When people hear the name Republican, felt most of them, they assume white nationalists and xenophobes. But it’s “a wide tent,” said Max, and Republicans are much more diverse than people are willing to believe.

One of the last questions I posed to the group was “Is there something you wish you could tell the other side?”

“Ask questions,” said Rocky. Be able to have a conversation. Be open to having a conversation.

Stacey offered a story from her time interning for Governor Charlie Baker. “Many liberals are turning more moderate, to be able to work with a conservative government,” she said, “And that’s really good to see.”

“Thanks for being willing to listen,” said Louis, the communications chair, when I thanked them for their time.

At the end of the meeting, two girls gingerly approached me. “Um, can I ask you something?” one asked, a woman of color.

“Yeah!” I answered, trying to be friendly but predicting (even after all this) that it might be something rude or blunt or homophobic.

“I was staring at it all meeting; where is your nail polish from?”

I looked down at the minty blue color. “Isn’t it great? It’s called ‘Babe Blue.’ But I don’t know the brand. Sorry!”

She looked genuinely anguished, because it is such a cute color. “Oh, okay. Thanks!”

And when I got home and logged on to Twitter, I saw my liberal newsfeed through different eyes. How would the College Republicans see this? They would say probably that it’s catastrophizing everything. And they might be right.

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college, Things Happening RN

STRAIGHT WHITE MALE

Written hours after seeing a girl running on the treadmill who was an exact replica of Taylor Swift in the commercial where she’s sprinting on a treadmill like a Suburban Girl on Black Friday and listening to Drake. Blunt bangs and all. Still shaken.  

A few days ago, I started seeing someone. It’s amazing and it’s new, so I haven’t talked about it much. I’m always skeptical of love, and it’s not even been a month, but I think I can safely say that I’m in love. God! That’s so crazy to write out!!!

Part of why I haven’t said anything is because this person isn’t really my type. And that’s because it’s a “she.” GUESS WHO’S STRAIGHT.

*crickets*

YOU OBVIOUSLY DIDN’T BELIEVE THAT BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS BLOG/KNOW ME IN REAL LIFE.

So why is it that when a friend of mine jokingly asked me to be in a relationship with her on Facebook (because I’m hot), which I did (because I’m nice), people instantly started liking the proclamation. First, it was just a few friends. This is acceptable because I know them and she knew them and they were obviously like “Oh funny haha cute” OBVIOUSLY UNDERSTANDING THE IRONY.

Then, the likes start rolling in. On her end, I understand if people start liking the status without knowing I’m gay. I am, after all, surprisingly good-looking for someone who is this funny. But on my end, people I went to high school with (WHERE I WAS OUT OF THE CLOSET) start liking the status. They don’t know my friend, we don’t talk anymore, so they have no reason of understanding the joke. They just think that I’m straight now.

Side bar: I was the president of my PRIVATE ALL-BOYS CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL’s first Gay-Straight Alliance (which was mostly just a Gay Bulwark or a Homosexual Council). AND I took off all the buttons on my pants and re-sewed them on with pink thread. I mean, you wouldn’t know that unless you were undressing me and I looked like a naked mole rat in high school so that never happened. AND I wore cardigans.

I WAS OUT.

But lately, as my friend Nina has pointed out numerous times, I’ve been dressing extremely “straight” lately (sideways baseball caps, penny board and giveaway sunglasses). That, combined with my height and (again surprising amount of) hotness, turns me into a CockBlock© because people see me with ladies and assume that it’s either A) a relationship or B) a Make A Wish thing and I’m a celebrity.

Side bar: I told someone else that Nina kept calling me a cockblock because everyone thought I looked straight, and she just looks at me, takes a beat, and says, “So this is before they hear you speak, right?” BURN.

But as a new Straight White Male™, I’m still getting used to this newfound level of privilege. I jay-walk whenever I want. I can never recall a time where I didn’t have all the rights. AND I was at Starbucks yesterday during a study-break coffee time, and the girl accidentally charged me one dollar more than I was supposed to, so she comped me a whole extra slice of the lemon pound cake, which is DEFINITELY MORE THAN A DOLLAR. God, I’m swimming in privilege.

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Source: Twitter// I started going crazy while writing an essay on Walt Whitman.

In other nudes, besides me being on top of the world, I’m in the midst of finals right now. I spent so much time yesterday staring at a screen that I thought I was gonna vomit. I didn’t, and after getting home from the library I proceeded to watch an hour of Netflix. So clearly, I was fucking fine.

I’m one essay and one article done, one essay and two finals to go. It’s so hard trying to maintain being smart for this long. I almost never do work (when you look like I do and talk like I do, people basically let you get away with whatever you want), so now I’m having to make up for all the work I coasted on because of my charisma. How do regular (-looking) people do this??

I hope that you’re having a good Monday, and that someday, you’ll get to live a life as rich and easy as mine. You probably won’t, but that won’t stop me from dreaming (GOD, I’M NICE TOO? GOD DOES GIFT WITH A HEAVY HAND!).

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college, Things Happening RN

TWEENS TERRIFY ME: PLEASE TROYE AGAIN LATER

Written after posting a stupid fucking Instagram, but I’ve been posting a toxic amount of photos of myself lately, so I did a photo of my Starbucks. But it’s cool cuz it’s iced tea. And I did a Kanye West lyric as a caption because I’m trying that formula of “dumb photo + wholly unrelated rap lyric = tons of likes” because it’s worked for every insufferable fake-hipster I go to school with. Is that tea piping hot? Can’t be my tea, cuz mine is iced. BOOM.

On Saturday, I worked a concert. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say what it is, so I’ll just make up a name. It was a Schroye Tevan concert. You’ll never be able to decode that.

Aside from a handful of older gays (older=older than me=65+ because I’m 60; just kidding I’m 12), the audience was basically teenagers. Everyone was glittery and gay, even when they weren’t, and it was a balm to my sore heart after a rough week. It was, however, trying to be in the same room as 6,000 hormonal tweenagers because they have ABSOLUTELY no chill. Like, I have very little chill, but these kids need to be frozen Walt Disney-style. They need major chill.

After the opener—Schua Dipa, who was awesome—I was doing rotating slowly in a circle to keep from being too bored and these two teenaged girls came down from their seats to where I was standing.

“You seem like you’re have so much fun, so we had to join,” they said/squealed.

I did my platonic smile, “Oh yeah, I’m having a blast.”

They were from upstate New York—five hours away from where I live/civilization—and were seniors in high school. Either they thought I was really fucking cool—reminder, I’m a 21-year-old working a Schroye Tevan concert on a Saturday night—or they were desperate, but they did that thing that all teenagers do when they’re talking to anyone older. They tried to act cool.

They told me how they bought their outfits—T.J. Maxx, which I’m not dissing because I’m a Maxxinista—and how they went to this “cool pizza place” near MIT. Okay, there are no “cool pizza places.” Pizza is just pizza, unless it’s a calzone and then it’s not pizza. They were telling me how they kept getting hit on by older dudes—I was snarky enough to use my “disgusted” face and have it look like a “oh no you didn’t girlfriend” face—who gave them their food.

This I find hard to believe because they’re bragging that older, married men gave them their leftover pizza? How? And more importantly why? And most importantly ew?

They asked me what I like to do in Boston, which is like asking someone how their year was—like where do I start? Why do you even care?—and I just said that I like to chill and blah blah blah. They started talking about drinking—I did say at one point, “You guys are literally seventeen”—and when I commented on them talking about margaritas, they had this to say.

ME: the place across the street has good margs.
MAXXINISTA #1: Omg I love margaritas.
MAXXINISTA #2: I’m more of a prosecco person.
ME: (no words, just stares at MAXX. #2)
ME: (internal monologue) You having prosecco once last New Year’s Eve with your parents is not you being “a prosecco person”.

Then Maxxinista #1 told me that her grandmother is 91 but is dating a 65-year-old and recently went to an orgy. This was in response to Maxxinista #2 telling me, WITHOUT PROMPT, that she has two lesbian grandmothers who run a farm—duh. This was in response to me saying, “Oh look, a pride flag.”

I LOVE TEENAGERS.

During the encore, my little friends came down again and tried to get me to dance. I didn’t, because omg I did not want anyone seeing me dance with them!!!1! Omg so embarrassing!! Like what if Tiffany saw me! She would tease me so bad in Chem II!!!!! NO WAY!!!!1!

The girls then asked me my name—wearing a nametag and we’ve been talking for twenty minutes—before going ‘OMG UR NAME TAG.’ Then they told me that I didn’t look like a Danny. They said I looked like a Seth.

“Seth?!” I screeched.

“Yes!!! Such a good name!” they screeched back. Maxxinista #2 then told me that the college she’s applying to allows cats, and she wants a cat and wants to name him Seth. So, in their defense, “Seth” might’ve been the only name they know. Or I look like a giant pussy.

The rest of the concert was pretty uneventful. I spent forty minutes staring at the high school gay in my section who had somehow planned a full 90-minute interpretive dance to the concert, while his lady friend just stood there watching him—that’s a lie; about fifty minutes in, she sat down and stared up at him from the floor.

Teenagers are, like, the worst about technology. I know that people my age are boning their phones, but teenagers are worse thrice times over. I saw at least five different instances of people SnapChatting their way into the concert floor, when nothing was happening and the overhead lights were glaring. They would put their flashlights on for every other song, and didn’t understand the “sexy casual drifting sway of the light” motion. Instead, they “windshield wiper”-ed for half the concert. I mean, I was an asshole at 16, but I was an asshole with a Samsung Alias 2.

Additionally, all teenagers look as old at 17 as I do right now. And they’re all gorgeous. It’s so unfair. I only recently—like “two Wednesdays ago” recently—got hot, but I kept seeing all these beautifully dressed beautiful gays and had to keep thinking, “they’re in high school; you’re not Woody Allen; they’re in high school.” They might’ve been in college, but seriously who can take a risk like that?

There were beautiful moments though. At one point, during “Heaven” (name?), everyone pulled out sheets of paper they had been given before. Each section was a different color, and they put their flashlights on behind the paper, turning the entire arena into one huge rainbow. One person near me had an iPhone 4, so she fucked up, but other than that, it was stunning.

It was nice to see young people, younger than me, who were as passionate about politics and queer rights. They didn’t/couldn’t even vote in the election (some of them are too young for driving permits) but they were still deeply invested in our country. And I think, weirdly enough, that’s what I needed to see. That a bunch of vapid, hormonal, angsty teens in Adidas Superstars and tube tops (that was just the boys, btw) could be as passionate and wordly and educated and righteously angry and wonderfully committed to our world.

Was anyone expecting an article that used the word “Maxxinista” so much to end up on an uplifting note? I certainly wasn’t.

P.S./Side bar: dont’ you love how everyone who’s like “Ugh i love the ’90s!!!!” was born in 2002. Chill the fuck out, dude.

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Article, college, Humor, Love & Romance

CUFFING SEASON, BUT DON’T WORRY YOU’LL STILL DIE ALONE

A few weeks ago, I briefly mentioned that I had noticed a lot of people getting together as the weather took a turn for the colder. I made a hilarious joke about Noah’s Ark and biblical floods (very well-received, don’t you worry). I put it out of my brain until a friend/fan of mine, Emily Rizzo (her life is so glam I want to reside in her pocket and just observe) brought it up again when we were getting coffee/I hijacked her and her other friend getting coffee.

“Have you heard of cuffing season?” she asked (ugh, she’s so good at asking questions, which is very important for a fan. It shows I’m not just a glamorous social media prop to her).

“No, what the fuck is that?” I answered, thinking it must refer to pant-lengths, which is a political issue I am very passionate about. However, she explained/I figured it out because I wasn’t listening that closely, cuffing season is exactly the phenomenon I had witnessed.

What’s the dealio, yo?

People who I knew as single were starting to drift into each other, and the amount of handholding went skyrocketing. But what’s behind this turn towards #love? Is it born (borne?) out of a desire to not pay for heating (body heat is, like, the best kind of heat)? Is it a reaction to the more dangerous fall weather (bears, black ice, and basic white girls)? Or is it the desire to not have your multitude of nosy aunts not breath down your neck during the holiday season (I wouldn’t know; all my family knows I’m gay so no one asks me any questions)?

“I could see how it could be a thing,” said Grace Pearson (a general beautiful person but also so nice; so unclear). “I could see how in Boston, where the weather gets so dreary, that it could be a thing.”

Pearson (but why is she so nice?? Pretty people don’t have to be nice) said that it’s not a phenomenon that she’s particularly observed, but one that she fully believes in (i.e. Santa Claus).

When I looked to the source (Urban Dictionary), I found a definitive definition (and a lot of misogyny—come on, you guys). The “top definition” defines “cuffing season” as thus:

“During the Fall and Winter months people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves along with the rest of the world desiring to be “Cuffed” or tied down by a serious relationship. The cold weather and prolonged indoor activity causes singles to become lonely and desperate to be cuffed.”

The word seems to be, at least according to a Vogue article (Vogue, you guys), derived from “handcuffing” and holds the implication that whether or not either party wants to, social norms and a primal urge seem to have locked them in love-rigors until spring’s thaw.

However, when I talked to one Olivia Wiles (AMAZING skin, great voice—like scrubbed velvet on a chilled winter morn), she knew exactly what cuffing season was. When I asked her to “give me all the t,” she did not let me—and enterprising young journalists everywhere—down.

“I don’t know if it’s an active decision, like “oops it’s fall gotta get cozy”. But I think there is something evolutionary in us that when the leaves change and it gets colder we crave a companion,” she said.

The autumnal activities also provide a strong incentive for coupling up. “Fall is also just such a coupley season: apple-picking, pumpkin-carving, holidays,” continued Wiles.

“I think it is definitely more primal.”

Andrew Cavaluzzi, a boy I went to high school with who still won’t admit that we’re dating (it’s, like, stop playing hard to get, babe!!!), was as truthful about his thoughts on cuffing season as untruthful he is about the state of our relationship.

“I think it is definitely more primal,” said Cavaluzzi. “There was always this innate fear in humans that we might not make it through winter.” Cavaluzzi also made the interesting and important point of body-affirmation. “Winter leads to less confidence in oneself, leaving people slightly more glum and therefore [they] look for external approval, i.e. relationships.”

As the weather gets chillier, “the relationship statuses are poppin’ on Facebook and flames are igniting,” said Wiles.

Callie Ahlgrim, a young woman whose love for me is as deep as her dimples (great dimples, you guyz) feels that cuffing season is less Nature v. Nurture, and more “You’re afraid you’re gonna die alone.”

“It’s the same kind of idea where people get lonely around Valentine’s Day. You’re alone every other day of the year as well, you’re just freaking out over a made up phenomenon,” said Ahlgrim after I begged her to comment. I also begged her to tell me if I was pretty; she did not respond.

However, studies (I’m assuming) show that as the year shifts from winter to spring, relationships end as people get hotter/tanner. And in the cold drawn breath of the ultimate winter—death—we’re all going to be alone. HAPPY THURSDAY.

Ahlgrim offered some sage advice (and some sage, amiright) to cope with the impending doom of death via singledom. “I think that the lonelier you get and the more you feel like you need someone to be romantically involved in your life, the more you actually just need to focus on yourself and your own shit.” Beautiful words from someone who refuses to acknowledge my external beauty.

Do you like my new Thanksgiving-themed banner?!

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