Holidannys

MISCELLANEOUS MONDAY: I WENT BACK TO THE GYM AND IT WAS AWFUL

How do I get the life of Ina Garten, Hamptons house and a Jewish husband and all that, without having to go through her career of a White House budget analyst and cooking store mogul? Ponder that while you read this post and then message me privately. I would be very curious to know.

It’s Miscellaneous Monday on da blog, so I’m just going to ramble about the various goings-on of my life. Prepare for glamour. Pause for chic. Buckle in for disappointment.

Okay, so I wrote that paragraph and then immediately sunk back into Ina’s world and am now watching her make carrot salad. She’s already done a coq au vin, a chocolate cheesecake, stuffed Cornish hens, garlic mashed potatoes, mashed turnips, and made an entire chocolate wedding cake. I think her show counts more in the science fiction realm, rather than cookery, because literally how is she not 1,000 pounds? And how is Jeffrey not dead from consuming so much chocolate ganache?

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literally me typing this blog.

I was watching while I was wrapping presents, and despite not having a ton of presents to wrap, it took me a while. I’m not a great wrapper—or a great rapper—so it’s a process. And Ina really makes me move slowly, as slowly as molasses dripping onto a freshly made Belgian waffle.

I’m also moving slowly because I started back up at the gym this week. I’ve done a legs-and-abs workout, a triceps-and-shoulders workout, and a back-and-biceps workout, and I literally feel like I am about to die. I forgot how sore you can be, and it’s been almost two months since I really worked out in any solid capacity. But I think I was completely ready to get back into the swing of things, even though not working out gives you so much free time to watch Netflix and eat ice cream. Like, truly, that’s all I did.

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I went to the mall today—let’s go to the mall!—and I was shopping and I kind of hate all shop workers. Like, I know that it’s your job to say hi to me and ask me if I need help, but I hate you. I have to do the same thing; I get it, we all work in the service industry, but please let me browse these LUSH bath bombs in peace. I don’t need you to draw attention to the fact that I’ve been deciding between two different facial cleansers for the last ten minutes. We both know what’s been happening.

And the thing I noticed a lot is that they wanted my email a lot. Usually, they don’t ask, but this time they did, and I was so put off that I just gave it to them. But why do you need it? Why can’t I just buy this lotion in peace, and then slink off to Urban Outfitters to secretly check the sales, even though Urban is awful humanitarian-wise and I shouldn’t give them my business?

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So gymming and shopping for Christmas presents—that’s really all I’ve done. Oh, and I keep doing this thing where I’ll dress like a human being for 1-2 hours when I go outside, and then as soon as I’m back in my house, I get into my Primark sweatpants and lie on the floor of my room. I have a bed. I just don’t use it. Right now I’m leaning against an armchair. Only after an hour of doing this with a sore butt did I think it might be a possibility for me to go into the armchair. But that’s too much work.

Everything is futile and everything will be sucked into the ether eventually!

HAPPY HOLIDANNYS!

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Holidannys

MISCELLANEOUS MONDAY: PACKING SUCKS

Okay, so news alert: packing sucks, I’m sweating like a whore in church, and I’m got a raging headache. I don’t know how anyone does this whole “moving from the country you moved to three months ago back to the country you left” thing, but that’s what I’m doing and I hate it.

In—like idk, two days? A day and half? I’m not great at math, but regardless—a certain, finite amount of time, I’ll be leaving England and going back to America, land of mouth-breathers and Dunkin-Donuts and LORDY LORDY I’M SO EXCITED. I’m excited to be the cool one again. In England I’m essentially Jan Brady, and goddamnit I want to be Marcia again.

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I spent two hours of my day sitting on suitcases and trying to shove too many denim shirts into too little of a space, and I realized that American consumerism has consumed me and that we need to fight, Marx-style, against the machine! Lol no, I’m kidding. I just realized that I get a little shopping-crazy and decide to go on a total binge. Which we already knew.

But I think what I hate most about packing is the inbetweenness. You still have to have certain things out—like your toothbrush and your deodorant—and so you’re living in this sort of limbo. I don’t do well with limbo—the concept or the popular game. I like things to be clean and done and over, I hate lingering and half-steps. Give me a full-step.

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And it makes me prematurely sad about leaving London. For the last three and a half, almost four months, this weird place has been my home and I’ll be sad to leave behind being an intrepid traveler, getting lost in Spanish Metros, eating sandwiches on a dock in Copenhagen, walking over tiny canals to hidden museums in Venice. I’ll miss being cool, and I’ll miss forcing myself so outside of my comfort zone that I can’t even see it anymore.

Because abroad for me was more than just being abroad. It really made me confront my anxiety. This entire trip was a huge experiment to see if I could be strong enough to override my anxiety and fear of new places. And I think I did it. I think I took a massive enough leap where I shocked the anxiety out of my body, and it’s just WTFing somewhere in the Atlantic.

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And so I hate packing because it reminds me that, while excited and glad I am to be going back to my friends and my family and my babes, that this part of abroad growth is over, and that I’ll have to find other ways of growing and getting outside of my comfort zone. Abroad was the easiest and most obvious way, but there are others, and I’ll find them.

Omg, did I just get so fucking deep in a rant against packing? I’m so deep. It’s insane. I’m Mariana’s Trench—the natural location, not the band. Although it’s a pretty good band.

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Omg, like goodnight. I’m so tired and I “have” a “final” tomorrow, in which I have to write multiple “in-class essays.” So weird. Must be code for something.

HAPPY HOLIDANNYS!

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Holidannys

MISCELLANEOUS MONDAY: AN ANTHROPOLOGICAL APPROACH TO BEAUTY

There’s a girl at my work that looks like the cover of a Sports Illustrated, all tanned skin and blonde hair thrown up into a messy topknot, the kind that makes girls want to kill themselves over. She was sitting and talking to my coworker, two seats away from me. She didn’t look at me, or even talk to me, but I felt a creeping blush burn across my cheeks. When she left, and my face paled, I looked at another coworker and said, “She’s so hot that even I’m uncomfortable.”

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She was a 10.

There’s a boy who lives on my floor who looks like the kind of boy Lizzie McGuire would fall in love with, 2005-surfer-boy-chic, and whenever I talk to him, I become this macho bro version of myself.

He was a 10.

What is it about objective attractiveness that makes me melt? I’m not attracted to either of these people—actually, their 10-ness is what makes me distinctly un-attracted to them. I’m totally lying; I just know how many standard deviations of attractiveness I’m allowed to move in either direction, and they’re outliers. Also they’re both straight, and I’ve had approximately two Tweets worth of conversation with either of them.

I have a fascination with extremely attractive people. It’s not sexual; it’s scientific. Consider me an anthropologist. Even if we aren’t attracted to them, we treat beautiful people in a certain way. We treat them as if they’re rarified. We want to get into their good graces. It’s instinctive; it’s like the privilege of getting to talk to the most popular kid when you were in sixth grade.

I recently attempted/did ask out someone. He’s the kind of attractive where you rubberneck and go, “Wait, really?” And when asked what I liked about him, I would say, “Um, he’s cute, I guess, and nice.” I’m lying when I give that answer. I’m bamboozled by his attractiveness. I have no idea if he’s nice. He could be sacrificing baby goats and wearing their skins as a cape, and all I would do is tilt my head into my palm and go, “Oh that’s so cool.”

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I’m so fake, but so are you. Let’s not pretend that we don’t all do this.

But I imagine that, as amazing as it must be, it must also be incredibly isolating being wanted for only your looks. In a recent Rolling Stone article, Adele said, “But sometimes I’m curious to know if I would have been as successful if I wasn’t plus-size. I think I remind everyone of themselves. Not saying everyone is my size, but it’s relatable because I’m not perfect, and I think a lot of people are portrayed as perfect, unreachable, and untouchable.”

And the idea of success being rooted partially in appearance pervades our world. Would pop stars be as successful if they weren’t commercially attractive, ready for consumption and palatable to the general public? Surely there are lots of people out there who are good singers. But are they fuckable?

There is a YouTube couple that I watch occasionally. Mark Miller and his boyfriend Ethan Hethcote are Indiana-bred, all-American golden boys. Mark looks like an ad for Men’s Health and Ethan has that amiable, boy-next-door hotness. Their videos are cute and silly and fluffy, but their subscriber count, half a million on Mark’s and a quarter of a million on Ethan’s, betray the underlying impetus. They’re hot, and they’re traditional paragons of masculinity, and we can’t stop watching. It’s why I’m subscribed. It’s why I click on their videos. But it’s also why I tend to skip over them with a clench in my stomach. Because I know deep down that I’m more interested in their faces than their voices. And I hate that I’m like that.

I was going to start out this blog by saying, “I don’t trust anyone who didn’t have bad acne, some sort of tooth issue, or a little bit of fat.” Which, I generally stand by, but I realize is a little beauty-phobic. I generally trust people who went through awkward patches, who have learned to rely on inner beauty and comedy, who are…well, like me.

I can’t relate to beautiful people, therefore I shame them. But maybe beautiful people are just as weird and fucked up as me? Maybe they’re just waiting for someone to include them into the Weird And Wonderful circle. Because if Keeping Up With The Kardashians and The Hills have taught me one thing, it’s that beauty doesn’t guarantee happiness.

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We objectify beautiful people because it’s easier than to humanize them. It’s easier to write them off when we’re bemoaning our pain. “He would never understand that. He’s always been hot.” Sometimes that pedestal that we put beautiful people on develops into a full-blown trench separating the Hots from the Nots.

I think I started off this blog thinking that I didn’t identify with beauty, and because of that, I was somehow better and they were worse off for never having struggled like I did. But who the fuck am I to decide what anyone has gone through? At the end of the day, don’t we all just want to be seen as the fucked-up meat puppets we all are?

Everyone is put into some boxes due to their appearance. Adele, because of her weight, was labeled “approachable” and “one of us.” But she’s also a multimillionaire and has a voice of an angel. But we still see her as one of us because she’s “normal.” Mark and Ethan are “hot” so they’re watchable and consumable and enviable.

Everyone’s in a box, and some might have the pretty labels and privileges, but it’s still a box, at the end of the day. It’s still outward objectification and judgment imposing itself on individual lives.

Maybe they’re relying on hot, but I’m definitely relying on funny, and, when broken down, is that really much different? Everyone has a crutch, and some crutches are chosen for them. Am I really able to pass judgment on someone just because their crutch is a pretty face and a good butt?

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