You can stop whining about how hard it is to be young now.

More and more often, I’ve been seeing articles bemoaning being in your twenties (in particular, Thought Catalog and the HuffPost Blog love making lists on this topic). I wrote a goofy version (at least I like to think so) myself–far less, well, serious and doom-y. But I’m really, really, REALLY getting tired of people bitching and moaning about being twenty-whatever in combination with one of the following:

A. Not having a job. I get that this is frustrating. I do. Having a degree that you worked hard for and that you can seemingly wipe your ass with sucks. However, there is not some sort of cosmic significance to your lack of employment. We have a shitty economy. We are, realistically, in a rec(depr)ession, and you’re pretty much at the bottom of the ladder. It is, yes, adversity that you have to work through, but plenty of other people have worked through it before you. It is not something special for our generation, it does not make you better/unique/more self-aware. You’re also the one who refuses to do menial labor because you’ve been fore fed some bullshit about it being below you for the last two decades. You annoy me. Shut the hell up already.

B. Being single. And drunk. And single. Okay, I get it. You’re lonely. And you’re verging on being a full-blown alcoholic. This has nothing to do with being in your twenties. Being drunk and lonely is not a profound experience, nor is it the special property of the young.

C. Feeling directionless and using your blog to whine about it. Blogging always straddles that strange line between making your point and getting whiny in order to elicit sympathy from total strangers. One thing that is true about many people in their twenties (but also true of many teens and even a boatload of baby boomers) is a need for constant reassurance/confirmation from their social circle. Why else would social media be so addictive and so conducive to the humblebrag?

D. Being too far or too little self-aware. It depends on who you ask on this one, but for all the time you, author of blogpost/article, are spending reflecting on being in your twenties (instead of oh, I don’t know, living them) I sure hope you’re erring on the “too much” side of this equation. Honestly, quit taking yourself so seriously. Chances are, by the time you hit your mid twenties, you’ll experience something that will change the way you see the world or yourself. That’s healthy and appropriate. Whether that’s losing a beloved grandparent, having to break off a long-term relationship, or even getting a first phone call from a collections department, all of these things can force you to crawl out of your (supposed) vodka-induced coma from part B of this list and re-evaluate your shit. It’s called life, and it is not special or particular to being a young adult.

E. Whining about being broke. Your parents are paying (or stopped paying) your rent/grocery bill/phone bill/bar bill/healthcare bills (think Lena Dunham à la Girls). You live in New York/L.A./Miami/Chicago. Um. What did you think was going to happen if you moved to a HUGE metropolis and had, if we refer to part A, NO JOB? Shit is expensive! I hope your parents have already paid off the house they have in Happytown, USA because even a shitty studio apartment in some of those places is probably going to have them forking over twice as much as they did for their mortgage. Give me a break. Stop acting like they’re obliged to be paying for your dumb ass to live the high life while remaining totally oblivious to all of the benefits you do have, like parents who are not only willing but able to help you with your rent.

F. Jerking off to your own perceived intellectual, social, and cultural superiority. We get it. You have clever Tweets. Who knew so much wit could be packed into a mere 140 characters? Your Instagram photos each have the perfectly selected filter for the five hundredth picture of your cat, or the one where you’re holding up a half-drunken PBR at some skeevy neighborhood bar you like because it’s “pure” (that is, you’re the only person under forty inside of it). Your Tumblr is both thought provoking and delightfully cheeky in the 21st century intarwebs sort of way. You’ve read (and get) Derrida and Naked Lunch. You need to remind your Facebook friends how brilliant and unique and clever and unique and underground and unique and unique and unique you are. Did I mention you’re unique? And your blog, OH! Your BLOG. It is so deep and meaningful and there’s just so many feelings you need to discuss.

The biggest problem is that there’s a good chunk of “twenty-somethings” who aren’t anywhere near this obnoxious, self-righteous, self-absorbed, and arrogant.

We live on our own. We have jobs. We pay our own bills. We might have put ourselves through college. We aren’t stressing that we don’t have the newest version of the iPhone. We still don’t really “get” Twitter. We’ve (self-consciously) learned how to resist the humblebrag. We take care of our parents, financially, physically, or emotionally. We appreciate cheeky internet humor as much as the next guy, but don’t feel compelled to base our entire self-worth on it. We, too, sometimes drink to much, have a crisis of conscience and confidence, and really–really–enjoy watching Girls. We just don’t take to the virtual streets and feel it’s necessary to tell the world each passing detail of our lives, or record them in photographs, preferring to experience them without a camera lens in our face or our fingers racing across the touch screen of our phone to check-in on Facebook 24/7. And quite frankly, we’re sick and tired of getting lumped in with people who do act those ways and do those things. I’m looking at you, New York Times.

So, let’s be real. Being in your twenties, like being in any other conveniently-named age range, has its ups and downs. Sitting around pampering your bruised ego on the internet or looking for affirmation of your feelings and your self-worth from your peers, known or unknown, is a (bad) choice, not a feature of an age group. It’s okay to feel pissed off because you’re unemployed or because you can’t find a boyfriend; it really is. But it has nothing to do with your age.

A Happy Thought for Sunday

After hearing that Chad Johnson head-butted his wife the other day, this makes me feel a little bit better.

10 Ways to Test Your Relationship

Relationships are hard, weird, and hopefully great.  Every relationship will be tested naturally, but if you’re looking for ways to see just how strong, or good, or whatever your relationship is, here are some ideas.

  1. Ask about porn.  When you do this, make sure to ask about the frequency, type, subject, and any other details you can imagine.  The more you push for details, the more of a test it really will be.  Once you’ve completed asking about this wonderful subject, make  certain you share your interests and preferences just as openly.
  2. Road Trip!  Being trapped in a car for hours and hours and hours is a sure-fire way to see if you secretly hate each other.  Plus, if your partner doesn’t shoot you when you scream and startle them upon seeing a spider…  You’re golden.
  3. Fart in front of your partner while maintaining eye contact.  I haven’t tried this, but it seems like it would work.
  4. Have a really awful day.  Then, hang out.  While it’s hot.  And you’re tired.  Experiment away!
  5. Go hiking.  You will quickly learn if you or your partner are whiny, lazy, weepy, weak, annoying, or cool.
  6. Debate who is weirder.  This will get ugly fast.  You will see what your partner finds odd and possibly annoying about you.  If you can withstand this, you’ll be alright.
  7. Have weird sex.  I don’t care if it’s role play, bondage, blindfolded, exhibitionist, group, or just different – try something a little out of your comfort zone together.  When you do this, you will either build trust and see that you already have a great deal.  OR it will be an awkward mess and perhaps a sign that you should avoid each other forever.  OR maybe it’s bad, but you can both laugh.  It’s a test.  You be the judge.
  8. Meet the parents.  What could be more telling than that?  Do you hate your partner’s parents?  Do they hate yours?  Are they creepy together?  Do you feel judged?  It will be awkward, but you can do it… and if you can’t, maybe you’ve failed.
  9. Meet the friends.  You will be judged so damn hard.  Get ready.  Get set.  Get to impressing.  Friends will tell it like it is.  You have to impress each other’s friends, or you will ruin each other’s lives.
  10. Throw up on your partner’s bedroom floor.  Trust me, this will test you both. Big time.  If your partner simply begins to take care of you, cleans your barf, and then refuses to sleep to maintain surveillance of you and your illness for the night, then they are awesome, and they deserve major rewards.  If they get mad at you and tell you to clean it up, they might be a real dick.  The lover that holds your hair deserve high praise and hella love.

3am Clampetts, and other summer sleep disturbers

It can be pretty difficult to sleep in the summertime. Even though I live in the Midwest, which usually has okay summers as far as temperatures go, this year has been absurdly hot. ABSURD, I tell you. Like 95+ degrees for weeks. Not okay. Firstly, if you don’t have AC, you’re screwed. No way around it. You will toss and turn all night in your awful sweat-soaked sheets (and not from any fun pre-sleep activities, either). Gross.

If you do have AC, chances are you have an outrageous electric bill, and, if you’re like me, sinuses that are completely in revolt. Yes, world, I really want to have bloody noses every morning from wanting to sleep in cool air. Blargh!

If it happens to be cool enough to sleep with your windows open, you run the risk of noise.And by noise, I mean assholes shooting off fireworks until three in the morning. Really? It’s a friggin’ Wednesday night; don’t you have to work tomorrow? WHO ARE YOU SHOOTING THOSE OFF FOR? Everyone is asleep, or at least was until you drank one too many Budweisers and came up with this genius idea. Douche.

Another risk of sleeping with your windows open in the summer is something I have christened “3am Clampett Syndrome.” We all can get a bit testy when it’s hot outside; no one is happy to be sticky and sweaty and just generally gross even into the night. HOWEVER–this is not an excuse to go outside of your apartment building and scream at your significant other in the middle of the night. Listen, you hillbilly, you’re not out in the country. People are right above you with their windows open TRYING TO SLEEP, and you’re waking me up with your shrill f-bombs, slamming of car doors, and general banging on inanimate objects. It’s not the car hood’s fault your girlfriend is a whore. It’s hard enough to sleep in balmy, humid weather without your bullshit.

Just a friendly PSA: 3am Clampetts, Drunken Firework Guy, and everyone else disturbing my sleep, STFU.

When did the grocery store become so weird?

I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point the grocery store became a magnet for weirdos and really strange behavior. In high school, I worked in a small grocery store, so I knew that weirdos, like everyone else, go to the grocery store. But I also thought that it was only because I was working eight hour shifts four days a week that I happened to see a few of them every week. And granted, we had our resident weirdos. But as a customer, I used to go to the grocery store pretty much without incident. The past few weeks have changed that.

Why is a small child pop-, lock-, and dropping-it on my cart?

I turned away only for one, brief moment. ONE MOMENT, and there’s a small child booty dancing in the one-foot space between my cart and the shelf of cookies. WHAT ARE YOU DOING? You’re six years old, and you’re acting like this is the club. It’s the cookie aisle for crying out loud! That’s not a shelf of liquor at a bar, it’s a stack of Keeblers. AND YOU’RE SIX. What is going on?!?

Since when is ass crack an acceptable fashion statement?

That’s called plumber’s crack for a reason. Not appealing. Especially when you’re a woman in her late twenties behind me in the check-out line. The worst part was that this lady was wearing a belt with her jeans, which means that she has purposely slung them so low that her butt is peeking out of the back, not just that her pants slid down while she was walking around–still not acceptable, but, you know, perhaps slightly more understandable?

I don’t need to hear your life stories while you scan my food.

When I was a cashier, I smiled, I asked people how their day was going, and I’d sometimes comment on the weather. There are acceptable topics of conversation between customer and cashier. Talking about your lunatic brother-in-law or your aunt who just got brain surgery don’t fall into that “acceptable” category. It’s especially unacceptable when you expect the customer to share some highly personal information with you as a result of your own over-sharing, and then to get irritated when they act uncomfortable or simply refuse to share similar information. Come off it, ya weirdo.

You’re a friggin’ grocery store; how can you not have heavy whipping cream?

You call yourselves a grocery store? You, sirs and madams, have utterly failed.

Why does everyone in the parking lot act like a jackass?

When I have my blinker on, that means I’m taking the space. It doesn’t mean you’re entitled to it after you see I have my blinker on because you’re in the “lane” closer to it. On another note, if I make a move you don’t like, give me the finger, roll down your window and yell an obscenity at me, but don’t purposefully park behind my car and wait for me to get out so you can fight me, and, when I don’t get out fast enough, slowly circle the parking lot as you lie in wait for me. You creep! That’s stalking!

 

I mourn the loss of days when I could go to the grocery store without being accosted by weirdness and weirdos.

Once Again, How Is Chris Brown Still Successful?

Chris Brown is a terrible dude.  Disagree?  I’d love to know why.

Chris Brown beat up his girlfriend – Rihanna – a few years back and was convicted.  He does not deny what he did.  Yes, he feels remorseful (allegedly).  Obviously, he is a troubled young man.  I know that some people will consider this unsympathetic, mean, or rigid; I don’t care.  He beat the shit out of a woman.  He should not be successful in an industry so driven by image.  It makes no sense.  It makes me so damn mad.  Abuse is unforgivable.  We let him become an example.  We’re teaching American children that as long as they’re really good dancers and singers, they can hit women and still be accepted as a role model.  You can hit your girlfriend AND maintain a successful music career.

He should be far too shamed to be back on the radio or performing at the Grammy’s.  We should be shaming him.

Now, Ms. Miranda Lambert spoke her mind in February and I completely concur.  She started quite a twitter war with Mr. Brown with the following tweets:

She is being hyperbolic because she thinks it so ridiculous that Chris Brown was invited to perform.  “Gun Powder and Lead” is a song about a woman who plans to kill her husband after he beats her up.  I love that she’s being sassy and bold here.  She told her fans at a February concert: “I just have to speak my mind, because where I come from, beating up on a woman is never OK. So that’s why my daddy taught me early on in life how to use a shotgun.”

I don’t think she meant it literally, obviously.  Meeting violence with violence is not the best way to deal with it.  Her point in the song is to empower women, and to free them from a submissive role that traps them, represses them, and puts them in harm’s way.  Her point is that we, as a culture, should be outraged by Chris Brown’s success.

I am outraged by Chris Brown’s success.

This should not be allowed.  In his position as an entertainer, as a very successful entertainer, there are thousands of people who LOVE him.  Thousands of people who went on twitter and defended him.  Thousands of people who want to be like him.  Therein lies the problem.  When a person is rich, famous, beautiful, talented, and successful, that person will be idolized and emulated.  We should not encourage anyone to emulate an abuser.  Abuse is so scary, so traumatic, and so entirely vile.  The fact that Chris Brown has been forgiven and accepted into his “comeback” makes me sick.  I am offended.  I am horrified.

Victims of domestic abuse often blame themselves and make excuses.  They forgive their abuser and leave themselves in harm’s way.  Being a victim, being attacked by someone who claims to love you is incredibly complicated.  It is so hard for people to leave their abuser.  They love them.  They want to be with them.  They want to help them.  If it is already difficult for a woman to leave an abusive boyfriend or husband, imagine how much harder it is after this precedent is set.

If our culture forgives Chris Brown for beating the crap out of his girlfriend, aren’t we telling women everywhere to forgive their abusive boyfriends and husbands?  Aren’t we forgiving and excusing abuse?

What has also been very public about this incident is that Rihanna has forgiven Chris Brown.  In fact, the two collaborated on a recent song of hers called, “Birthday Cake.”  It is an incredibly dirty song.  It is so deeply disturbing to me.  Here is this woman, Rihanna, in this presumably very difficult situation, which is also a very public situation.  The man she loved hurt her – beat her up.  I can understand having issues with just cutting him off and letting go of the relationship.  It was meaningful for her, and then he suddenly showed he was a scary and dangerous man.  It is hard to imagine.  It is so hard to love someone and then suddenly have them attack you.  Her situation is unique because it is so public.  I am glad for her that she was able to move on and forgive him.  That is big.  That is healthy.  However, I find it to be very irresponsible, very dangerous for her as an example, as a role model, to then publicly accept him and work with him again.  Little girls want to be like her.  Does she want little girls to have that lesson, to believe that abuse is forgivable?

I don’t necessarily think it is fair to put this all on her.  After all, she is the victim.  I just strongly believe that if a person is in a position where thousands or millions of people are looking up to them and looking to them for an example, then that person has a greater responsibility.  That is probably not fair, but it comes with the territory.

I am genuinely frightened that our culture has forgiven Chris Brown.  Abuse is unforgivable.  How have we accepted him back to success?  This is so damn dangerous.

Wanna see Miranda Lambert SLAM Chris Brown for being a convicted felon?  Click Here!

Stop Comparing Me to Fruit

I’m sure by now, most women have heard of different classifications for body shapes. There’s the “hourglass” (think Marilyn Monroe and every pin up girl ever) and the “rectangle” (as in you don’t have a natural waist) and sometimes even varieties of triangle (standard and inverse, apparently). But all of this is weird. No one actually looks like a triangle or a rectangle. Hourglass, sure, I can see that. Then there’s the stupid food comparisons: apple, pear, and (this one was new to me) banana. I’m sorry but I definitely don’t look like a piece of fruit. This comparison is just weird and nonsensical.

In this case, the fruit doesn't even fit. And that does NOT look like a banana, damnit.

I’m sorry, but none of these shapes make any sense to my brain. I just don’t get it. Supposedly, because I’m small-chested and big-bootied (is that even a term?) I’m a “pear” shape. But I’m also supposed to have tiny, wimpy shoulders (which I don’t) and thick ankles (also don’t). I get the impetus for classifying body shapes–supposedly helping women dress to flatter their most “alluring” features–but it really needs to be rethought. On top of only being able to represent these so-called universal shapes that are supposed to fit all women on the planet in odd drawings without faces or  with creepy identical faces, when someone does try to represent these shapes in the real world, you wind up with ridiculously inaccurate representations. See, for example, figure three. All of these women, despite the fact that they’ve been classified as “different” shapes, all look the same to me. They all have chests of roughly the same size, they’re all fairly lean (though red bathing suit and black bathing suit have weirdly thin thighs that don’t touch), and they all have pretty defined waists. I’m also increasingly convinced that “inv” triangle and triangle are the same woman with a bit of photoshopping on the booty/thighs area. Alternative to the “models come in all shapes and varieties of anorexic!!!” photo above is the “all women look like worn out slobs and stand with their arms awkwardly lifted and suffering from an inexplicable case of bowleggedness” picture below. Kudos to the creator for using real women, but at the same time, it seems somewhat unfair to try to accurately represent body types when you’re using women whose ages vary from the fairly young (maybe 24, “lollipop”) to the fairly old (65? “column”), and whose relative body weight fluctuates from the very skinny to the verging on obese. And forgive me for asking, but what idiot came up with these horrible names. There’s the classic food items, but wtf is a cello body shape? Lollipop? Goblet? And can we all agree that “brick” is a terrible term for a woman’s body shape? As if you could be any less interested in making a woman feel beautiful–“Yes, dear, I believe you’d be classified as a ‘brick.'” C’mon!

This is not to say that using women of a variety of ages and weights is a bad thing, but it’s hard to get a sense of your body shape if you’re at the right weight but don’t look like Ms. Lollipop, Pear, or Cornet. What about women of average weight who are hourglass-shaped? Or heavy women who are column or goblet shaped? This system just sucks, to be honest.

Additionally, in my evening internet cruising, I keep seeing advice for pear and apple shaped women that encourages them to “hide” their big hips or busts, respectively, while telling hourglass ladies to just let it all hang out cause they have nothing to hide. What kind of message does that send? The only worthwhile, sexy shape is an hourglass one, I assume. Everyone else better try to wear dark colors or use ruffles to give the impression they actually have the hourglass shape instead of just embracing the great assets they do have, regardless of whether their top and bottom halves match.

I say, eff that. Whether you look like Barbie or you don’t, stop dressing to cover up what some people like to call “problem areas” (i.e. anything that’s not an hourglass), and just start wearing what you think looks good and gives you confidence.

How to let your Valentine know you really wish she was 5 and had a tail.

Lately when I’ve been tuned in to MSNBC, I’ve noticed this really awful ad they’ve been running from a company called “Pajamagram” for their product called “Hoodie Footie.” Oh, yes, that is exactly what you’re picturing: full size footie pajamas for adult women. Behold:

What the HELL? First, I doubt any adult woman would be excited to receive footie pajamas from her Valentine. There is nothing cute or romantic about your significant other getting you the same kind of pajamas that five year olds wear. Let me repeat that: THERE IS NOTHING ROMANTIC ABOUT BABY PAJAMAS. If I received these for a Valentine’s gift, or really at any time, I’d start to wonder whether my significant other was a pedophile, or at least had weird pedophilic tendencies.

Additionally, what is going on with the leopard print one? A TAIL? This, on top of toeing the pedophile line, makes me think of furry fetishes–you know, those people who like to dress up in giant stuffed animal costumes and have sex. Yeah. This Hoodie Footie business is now doubly weird, right?

Thinking of this in the larger context that includes the infamous “Snuggie,” I’m starting to wonder who all these people are that are cold all the time, so much so that they need bizarre–and incredibly ugly–products in order to keep warm but still be able to partake in sedentary activities. Turn up the heat in your homes, you morons. Or, I don’t know, do something that involves movement instead of sitting around. That will be sure to warm you up.

FYI, Valentine’s gift buyers, male and female alike: your partner is not a child. Your partner does not need to look like an animal. There is nothing romantic about receiving a gift that implies you are or should be more childlike in the context of an adult relationship, nor is there anything sexy about being dressed as an animal (take note, Halloween costume creators!). The only people who want to have sex with other species and/or children  are socially shunned as perverts. For the sake of the longevity of your relationship, do yourself a favor and don’t imply that you’re one of them.

2011 in Review: Dumbest Moments in Pop Culture

Honorable Mentions:  Casey Anthony.  Arnold Schwarzenegger has illegitimate child with his maid; kid dresses up as the Terminator for Halloween.  Ke$ha.

5. The Royal Wedding.  

While we’ve posted on the royal wedding before, we’re still amazed at how long this cloud of bullshit lingered (and continues to linger/respawn). First it was about the princess-to-be and the wedding itself.  Then it was about the hats. Then it was about her hot sister with the weird name (oh, right, “Pippa.”).  Then it was about her alleged and highly anticipated pregnancy.  Why everyone felt it so necessary to freak out about this, we’ll never know.

4. Kim Kardashian gets married… for 72 days.  Kim married basketball player Kris Humphries, and divorced him less than three months later.  Cue media firestorm: it was fake!  They did it for the money!  All of it is a sham!  Do you people not realize Kim Kardashian’s entire life is a scam to get your money?  Why did you think her marriage to this douche would be any different?  C’mon!  On a side note, I think the height-difference alone doomed them.  I mean, that would really, really complicate things… like dancing.

3. Justin Bieber’s baby mama drama.  Everyone’s favorite manboy singer was accused of having sex with some random nineteen year old girl in a bathroom at one of his concerts, resulting in her getting preggers.  We already posted about this, largely because this girl was claiming she banged a minor… for more entertainment!  Not only was it impossible to Google “Justin Bieber Baby” to get any information about this ridiculous story (given the title of his single), it was just stupid.  There’s so much wrong here.  First off, if you’re nineteen and you are at a Justin Bieber concert, you should be ashamed of yourself.  Secondly, I’m sure this kid has a little more class than to have sex with you in a bathroom stall.  I mean, he’s Bieber, he gets whatever he wants.  He would probably make love to you on a bed of candy or something equally juvenile.  Three, maybe you shouldn’t text people and reveal that you’re full of shit when you’re trying to scam a celebrity out of child support for the next eighteen years.  On top of that, maybe Biebs should have listened up on his Kanye West before hitting the bigtime: “eighteen years, she got one of yo’ kids got you for eighteen years.”  Just sayin.  However, the tweets about this stuff were, admittedly, HILARIOUS.  Nothing better than twelve year olds freakin’ out and calling some teenager a dirty, lying whore (which she was).

2. Charlie Sheen goes overboard on blow, “Winning!” If somebody didn’t realize Charlie Sheen was a little bit “off” before his coke addiction hit the fan this year, then you must’ve been living under a rock. The way news media latched on to this bombshell of a story, though, only happens once in a blue moon. Sheen is no idiot–he used his meltdown to his advantage, and is possibly one of the only celebrities I’ve ever heard of making money off of their sheer insanity caused by drug abuse. Charlie, you are, truly, a rock star from Mars.

1. Rebecca Black gives the world “Friday.” I don’t know what was more amazing: how totally, absolutely, and truly BAD this song was, the hysterical memes that resulted from it, or people’s unchecked rage toward Rebecca Black herself. This goofy YouTube video took on a life of its own and even created a template for a Kohl’s Black Friday ad this year. While the song was awful, you have to be impressed with a piece of music that causes such a guttural reaction among the public and is collectively condemned as the worst song of all time. Just think, Jefferson Starship had to work almost thirty years to get “We Built This City” declared as the worst song of all time. It took Rebecca Black about two weeks. Bravo.

We hope you’ll remember 2011 like we will: