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  1. There’s no I in Team

    November 21, 2014 by Brittany_Ashley

    When I was a senior in high school, I had been dating my boyfriend for over a year.  (Note: This was in my heterosexual days when I hadn’t yet realized my love for pussy. Aaaand proceed). His name was Nico and he was my best friend. We spent every day together and were practically Siamese twins, attached at the hip/neck/you choose. I admit, we were pretty co-dependent, but I loved being part of a duo. Even as a 17-year-old girl, amidst all my imperfections and my menstrual periods, I understood what it was like to be unequivocally on someone else’s team, no questions asked. If he had to work a double shift at his job, you bet your ass I was bringing him lunch that he didn’t have enough time to buy for himself. I’d fill his car up with gas, babysit his younger brothers when he couldn’t, help him with homework, you name it. He was my partner. (Side note: He was also technically my partner-in-crime, we went through a big shoplifting phase.)

    As a bit of a cinephile, I had romanticized what my senior year of high school would look like because of the movies I idolized: “10 Things I Hate About You”, “She’s All That”, “Never Been Kissed”, and so on. I was the protagonist to my own 90’s high school movie, so of course my senior year Homecoming Dance would be built up as a pivotal moment. I would wear a dress! Heels, even! And I’d dance to songs like “Yeah” by Usher (because that’s what was popular at the time). Move over Jennifer Love-Hewitt, it’s my turn bitch!

    I never desired the “girly” things like being on Homecoming Court. I much rather would’ve been moved up to the Varsity softball team for my tireless efforts as Girl-Who-Is-Probably-Totally-Gay. In terms of coveted popularity, I knew that titles like “Homecoming Queen” were reserved for girls like my friend, Danielle Burry: a human cupcake. To this day, I haven’t met a person who dislikes Danielle. Though she was a close friend of mine, she also happened to be Nico’s ex-girlfriend, the ex whom I always knew he still had a thing for. I don’t blame him. The girl was a dreamboat with breasts that shouldn’t have been on a 16 year old. My insecurity towards him still harboring feelings towards her was a point of contention in our relationship but we worked past it as best as two young adults that had never taken Psych 101 possibly could.

    I didn’t have the most conventional childhood. I was expected to understand larger concepts of the world like death, mortality and disease when kids my age were learning how to tie shoes that didn’t have Velcro. Once my mom passed away, my Grandma Georgianna stepped in as the caretaker while my dad worked around-the-clock. I watched “The Price Is Right” more than any 6 year old should, ate fish sticks as a regular part of my diet and loved every second that she read stories to me. My dad remarried a few years later and we moved when I was in 6th grade, which uprooted me from the only sense of normalcy I had ever known. Throughout middle school, I played after-school sports and consistently had amazing grades but at home it felt more like my new family and I were doing our best impression of a family more than actually being one. Vacations to places like Orlando or Myrtle Beach were a fucking nightmare but we made sure to smile in every picture for the benefit of someone else who wasn’t even in the room. As a teenager, I tirelessly wrote in my journal like Sebastian from “Cruel Intentions, stealing scissors and paste from my sister’s desk drawer so I could really authenticate the entries by pasting pictures and tiny objects like necklaces onto the pages of my notebook. I incessantly re-watched comedies like “Dumb and Dumber” over and over again until my step-mom Lynette was finished slamming the door in my dad’s face. I turned the volume all the way up on my TV to drown out the endless yelling, the threats, the cops, the sounds of a very damaged marriage ending horribly. For most of my formative years, I felt utterly alone. TV shows like “Buffy” and “Saturday Night Live” or movies starring Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler were the only things that made me feel less like an alien because they made me laugh. If I didn’t have a TV in my room, I honestly don’t know how I would’ve even gotten through the terror of middle school and the abundance of cyber bullying and AOL Instant Messenger. My Grandma GG died a year after we moved and the loneliness grew even deeper. High school was no picnic. I desperately wanted to fit in but I always felt one step behind. Guys only started to notice me once I got contact lenses and ditched the mouth fashion because as we know, beauty is skin deep. I hadn’t met any romantic prospect that sincerely laughed at my jokes, genuinely wanted to spend real actual time with me and gave me a sense of belonging until Nico came along. My 90’s movie love interest in real actual form with eyes so blue you’d think his dad was part Atlantic Ocean.

    The week of Senior Homecoming started like the Act I of my 90’s high school movie. On Election Day the halls were a buzz about who was going to be on Homecoming Court. People in my classes would tell me they were going to vote for Nico and I, something I never even considered in my wildest dreams, especially given my pedigree of unpopularity in middle school and practically being invisible (I wore a lot of khakis and the colors of the rubberbands in my braces coordinated with whichever holiday was coming up because I had seasonal mouth fashion). Once this possibility of spotlights, sashes, popularity, recognition, and all other elements of being on Homecoming Court entered in my brain, I suddenly wanted the conventionality I never had. I wanted the girly things! Just this one time, please give me the girly thing of feeling beautiful and liked! When it came time to vote, I felt less alone. I felt seen.

    Alas, I didn’t get on Homecoming Court. I remember sitting in Mr. Jackson’s Sociology class and having that sinking feeling when I didn’t hear my name over the intercom. Sad, but not the end of the world. However, Nico’s name was called. My partner. My Siamese twin. His once-conjoined body being torn apart from mine.

    I could’ve gotten over not getting put on Homecoming Court. It wasn’t that big of a deal. When the time came for the Homecoming football game the day before the big dance I was practically numb to it. I drifted through the night with a fake smile and an “I’m so happy for all of them” grin that here in adulthood we all have perfected.

    Let’s get real. This post is not about how I didn’t get put on Homecoming Court and me whining about the politics of social hierarchy. You see, before Nico and I had started dating, he had a best friend named Jason. Once Nico started dating me, the time he spent with Jason started to dwindle. Jason did not like this very much. In the words of every parent that met Jason, he was “a horrible influence” and in the words of me, he was “a total piece of shit.” Rather than saying, “Hey man, let’s go kick a ball around and talk about feelings,” Jason decided to take his latent anger out on me, which most of the time I could laugh off and then bitch about to Nico in the car ride home.

    At the Homecoming Game, after I had already buried my feelings about going back to being plain old courtless-Brittany, I overheard something while I was sitting on the bleachers watching Nico receive his sash at the 50 yard line along with the 9 other chosen ones. I found out (and then was told in great detail) that Jason and a few other dickless guys told everyone in their classes to not vote for me to be on Homecoming Court because Jason pitched to everyone that it’d be funny if Nico and his ex-girlfriend were crowned King and Queen, to my chagrin. My largest fear, the kryptonite of mine and Nico’s special (albeit juvenile) partnership. That dickholey antagonist took exceptional effort to make sure that I would be hurt for his own amusement, so I would have to watch my insecure 17-year old girl nightmare happen in front of my face.

    In bleachers surrounded by my entire Senior class, I felt entirely alone. I needed my partner. My person. My confidante. I excused myself (probably told everyone I had diarrhea) and I ran t0 the locker room that I knew Nico would be headed towards. I sprinted across the parking lot, tears trying desperately to not escape from my eyeballs. Stay in there, saline demons! All the football players, cleats clacking, were ahead of me. I caught up to Nico in the parking lot and grabbed his arm, desperately hoping he’d be the Freddie Prinze, Jr./Heath Ledger/Michael Vartan to my damaged protagonist that needed him so badly. He’d hold me. Wipe my tears away. He’d pummel the shit out of everyone who made me feel so hurt. I could hardly get out the full sentence of what Jason had done before Nico brushed me off, only thinking about himself saying that he “played a shitty game tonight” and therefore couldn’t “deal with me” right now. He walked off and the cleats kept on clacking as I stood in the middle of a full parking lot. Alone. In my room. Writing in my journal. Trying to drown out the doors slamming in my house. The screaming.

    That night I lost the one teammate I truly ever thought I had. My partner. My Siamese twin. Up until that point, I had never understood disappointment quite like that. Of course I was hurt by how many people went along with this fucked up movement against me, by people I considered friends and overall just being in the dark about something so hurtful. I ghosted through Senior year with an emptiness towards everyone. I quit the softball team that year and completely disassociated myself. I didn’t even want to go to Prom for fear that this would happen on repeat. I was mad at everyone. But nothing compared to how I felt towards Nico after that. The one person I expected to have my back, stick up for me, or at the very least show a sign of human dignity had completely failed me and I was heartbroken. We dated the rest of our Senior year, but I never forgave him and I operated through a very limited range of emotions towards him. He failed to do what I, without question, would’ve done for him.

    Is this currently being pitched for the “She’s All That” reboot? No. But I’m trying to get at something deeper here.

    Since the fiasco in the parking lot, I’ve had my own adult versions of not getting Homecoming Court that have manifested into mental breakdowns, long road trips by myself and even longer Microsoft Word documents that will never see the light of day. I realize now (and of course, shortly after my Senior year) that Nico was never actually my teammate. He would’ve never brought me lunch, would’ve never babysat my (non-existent) brothers, or would’ve never even known where my gas tank was. He never knew about the journals, the desire for the girly thing just once, the perpetual slamming door, my Grandma’s funeral. In all honesty, him and I aren’t even friends on Facebook anymore. He takes a lot of selfies and I’m pretty sure he’s Republican now.

    I’m nearing 26 years old. I’ve been in love with two women. Beyond that, I’ve had a decent handful of romantic relationships, ones that acknowledged exclusivity and a loyalty to the other person in the most basic sense. In all honesty, I rarely have romantic prospects that stick around longer than 3 months. For various reasons: because I’m not ready, or because she’s not ready, or because we’re not a match, or because Mercury is in retrograde, you name it. However, at this point in time, I can say with confidence that I’ve never found a teammate. I’ve never even had a relationship that closely resembles anything that I’d want for myself. No one has ever held my hand through the fire that is life. No one has beat the shit out of other Jason’s I’ve encountered in adulthood. No one has ever made me feel less alone on the bleachers. There’s not one person I’ve dated that knows my deepest feelings about my mother, my Grandma Georgianna, my family, death, depression, marriage/kids or my career. They never asked. And I’m not blaming them. I mean nobody can possibly know the expectations that someone else has set up for them, so how would they know when they fall short of them?

    I float through my love life burrowing disappointment after disappointment the way I’ve burrowed loneliness throughout the years. I’ve learned to cut something off quickly when I discover that someone I’m dating lacks compassion. I feel myself shut down more and more with each shitty realization of not finding a partner in someone I thought would’ve been. I spend my free time planning a Kickstarter to fund enough money so I can scientifically clone myself, then date myself, and be my own god damn partner in life. I’ll bring me water before bed, leave the coffee on in the morning and beat the shit out of anyone who hurts me. I’ve gotten choosier in my still-not-old-age. Just like my greatest Little League coaches, the moment that I sense you’re not a team player, you’re kicked off my team. The sad truth is that some adults can’t even be their own partner, let alone yours. But the even realer, sadder truth is, we’re all so afraid of being vulnerable and talking about that vulnerability, that we can’t really admit to someone what we really need to feel secure and loved and less afraid and in my case, not in the bleachers. So we all just drift alone like free agent ghosts until someone waves at us eagerly and says “I pick you!”, slaps a jersey on you and then promises not to pull the rip cord that dangles in front of all of us when we fear getting hurt.


  2. Insecurity Syphilis

    July 24, 2014 by Brittany_Ashley

    In 6th grade, Schomonica Schmurke* told me that I had a lazy eye.

    (*Name has been changed to protect the “innocent”)

    We sat next to each other in Mr. Blake’s English class. One day I was turned away from her day-dreaming about JC Chasez when she tapped me on the shoulder to ask me how to spell J.R.R. Tolkein’s last name. I turned towards her and said “T-O-L”- She stopped me to say “Has anyone ever told you that you have a lazy eye?” Cut to: Moments later, I got a hall pass and ran into the bathroom to study my potential lazy eye, trying to recreate every angle in which either of my eyes could possibly be construed as lazy.

    For over a decade, I went through life believing that I had a lazy eye but no one would be honest and tell me. Like those moments where you accidentally trip up on your words and silently contemplate if you have a speech impediment or not. It was the invisible weight I carried with me everywhere I went, on top of my INCREDIBLY FASHIONABLE glasses and braces combo (I was basically too sexy to handle. AIM screenname: 2Hot2Handle). I became so insecure about the infamous Picture Day, about speeches in front of a class and of course quite literally anything that requires you to be a real human person and look people in the eyeballs.

    We’ll get back to this point in like 4 minutes.

    It’s scary to let people in and show them the real You. The You that needs to shave that part of flesh between your belly button and your pubic entrance on a weekly basis. The You that went on Craigslist one night in college to buy a mattress but scrolled over to the next column to casual encounters and the next thing you know, you’re red wine drunk, getting fingered by a stranger with a pixie cut in a weird loft above the Ghirardelli. The You that got diarrhea in Ikea last week and had to run through 12 living room and 14 kitchens just to get to a fucking toilet. You’re afraid that someone will see the real You and be like NO NOT YOU. Because once you’re with someone but then that same someone says NO NOT YOU, you’ll automatically assume it’s because they saw who you really are, the You that you can’t change. Inevitably you’ll feel like you need to hide that You from the next person and the next person and the next person, so much so that you’re no longer a person you recognize. You just want to be a person that’s palatable. You start referring to things as your “passion project”, calling people chica, listening to the Maroon 5 Pandora station by choice and going out to brunch regularly. But you hate brunch. You believe brunch is for assholes or people so insecure that they have to be blacked out to be okay with themselves in daylight. Where has the real You gone? She’s undoubtedly still in her dad’s basement practicing her novice stand-up act with the karaoke machine she got for her 11th birthday (when she wasn’t absolutely nailing the shit out of “Butterfly” by Crazy Town).

    This all builds up into you dating women who say brutalizing (albeit, honest) declarations of what they cannot do for you and even worse, what you cannot do for them. But you ignore it because other women have said a lot worse things to you and because you believe that true love needs to be a torture chamber. And this is sad. Because all you wanted to do was wine her, dine her, and RL Stine her (give her goosebumps), but instead you got handed a whole new bag of insecurities that you thought you left in your dorm room junior year of college along with that Evanescence CD (WAKE ME UP INSIDE!)

    And they end things with you because you aren’t the person they want, but that truth gets overshadowed with you feeling like this ending could have been avoided had you been more of this or less of that. And in a last moment of Hail Mary you let the unwarranted (but very real) crazy come out at the very end because that’s when it’s most vital in making the other person so turned off by you that there’s entirely no more salvation for the two of you together so there are no questions left unanswered.

    You count how many times you’ve met someone and thought “Whoop there it is” but then have the earth-shattering realization that “Whoop there it isn’t”. You look for an explanation. A sentence you said wrong. A moment where you messed up. Like that time you kept making jokes about horses and it got really weird really fast. Or that time you got diarrhea in IKEA last week. There has to be something that you can control and remedy so that we can fix it for the next person. Because we’re all just the retarded Sherlock Holmes of our own romantic insecurities, trying to solve the mystery of why it didn’t work out. Maybe it could’ve been different if I was different! Argh!! (Note: There are no answers, no moments, no explanations. Unless you did something really shitty like cheated, in which case, you’re a garbage person and no matter how many times you request to follow my social media presence, I will NOT let you, ex-ex-ex girlfriend).

    Then you sit in your room. Alone. Realizing that tubes of toothpaste have lasted longer than most of your relationships. You believe it has to be you because all these women seem to have really great lives on Instagram without you. All filtered in Lo-Fi, laughing about something that I can only assume is about how glamorous their life is, as a beautiful sunset’s light cascades onto their suddenly clear and blemish-free skin while deer come frolicking out of a meadow in the background. But you cry. Not only do you cry but you masturbate to syndicated episodes of “How I Met Your Mother”. You try to search for RealActualHumans.Com on the Internet but all that comes up is porn, and you don’t masturbate to porn. You masturbate to the thought of someone telling their friends that you’re edgy but you have a good head on your shoulders and a bright future. This huge fucking mess is because all you want to do is fall in god damn love with someone.

    Back to that one point. Schmonica Schmurke* has a lazy eye. And once I finally spoke out about this after we all graduated high school, my friends were like “Brittany, you do not have a lazy eye. Also, you DO realize SHE had a lazy eye, right?” But I was so fixated on if I did that my stupid dumb dumb brain couldn’t connect the fact that maybe this person was projecting her own insecurities onto me, therefore giving them to me like Insecurity Syphilis.

    We’re all just a make-up of the insecurities other people have projected onto us. They don’t realize they’re giving us their emotionally transmitted diseases just as much as we don’t realize we’re carrying them. But the bright side is that all you need is one person.  All you need is one whole person that won’t spread their insecurities, because they won’t have any with you. The rest are just Pokemon. You caught them, but years later, you’ll see them in a box in your parent’s basement and forget you ever had them.

    Also. Um, Schmonica Schmurke* is a fucking cunt for saying that to 10-year old me.

     


  3. What I Would Tell My 20-Year Old Self Redux

    June 12, 2014 by Brittany_Ashley

    I turned one of my favorite blog posts into a video in collaboration with BuzzFeed Video. Yes, that’s me. Yes, I really do drink that much wine.


  4. Be still.

    April 1, 2014 by Brittany_Ashley

    When I was 12 years old, my best friend Steph bought me a kitten for my birthday. I named her Riley (I was in my more immature phase of Buffy where I actually thought he was a likable character). On the first day that I was handed Riley, I lost her in my bedroom. I tore my room apart, cried, called Steph and told her that I lost the kitten, essentially admitting I wasn’t ready for such a responsibility. Finally, after sitting in sheer silence in the middle of my now thunderstruck room, I heard little cries coming from inside my bed mattress that I probably would’ve heard had I not been tearing through my room like I was on MTV’s “Room Raiders”. The kitten clawed her way into the box spring mattress and was stuck. I took her out carefully and then held her for hours, developing a kinship with this little creature that needed me. For the next few weeks, I couldn’t wait to get home from school to see her. At night, she’d cuddle up right under my chin, that kind of affection you never knew you wanted until you got it. I remember one specific afternoon when I was home alone, I had her in my arms while I was carelessly running downstairs towards the kitchen. I tripped, dropped her, and she flew across the stairs and landed on the cold, hard tile floor. This little kitten was crying, limping and hardly able to stand on her feet, proving the old saying entirely false. I couldn’t forgive myself for not handling something so precious with so little care for even the slightest second. I can still think about it over a decade later and still cry when I picture that little black ball of fur attempting to stand but helplessly fall. I spent the next few days utterly indebt to this tiny kitten that I felt like I ruined. I hurt her so I was going to fix it. I didn’t tell anyone else in my family so I would carry her everywhere so they wouldn’t notice her limping. All she needed was time, but I was focused on fixing this right now. However, weeks went by and I stopped incessantly coddling her. Eventually she starting walking fine again. She didn’t sleep in my room anymore. I stopped thinking about that moment that I never thought I’d stop worrying about. Time passed and then at some point she just became our cat.

    Though an odd analogy, I see many of my romantic relationships through this lens of which I first had this relationship with my kitten (let’s leave the bestiality comments to a bare minimum, plz). There’s the novelty, there’s this adorable thing just waiting to grow. And it excites you, you rush around all the other things that aren’t involving this person. You rush home from class, rush home from work, you nod along to your friends when all you’re doing is looking at your watch and thinking “Is it 7pm yet? I’m seeing her at 7pm and I could swear it should be 7pm already.” Even as a 25 year old, nearly every time that I’ve arrived at my latest girlfriend’s apartment, I’d sprint from the car to her building’s door just to get there 9 seconds faster. Bystanders on Coldwater Canyon probably thought I was being chased by a murderer, that’s how immediate my movements were. And this is cute. This is exciting. This is the beginning. This is the beginning of your love. You will show your love off to all your friends, make it do tricks, it’s your entire being for a while. But then inevitably one day you will run around with this new love so carelessly that you drop it. Someone gets hurt, or both of you get hurt, and you will spend every waking moment thinking about how you can make it up to this person. You’ll try to repent. You’ll try to make up for lost time. You’ll suffocate it with this love. This need to fix it right now. To make it work right now. If you squeeze something hard enough, it will ooze out of the creases between your fingers. You’ll spend hours, days, weeks, wondering if it’s ruined. Will our love pick itself off the cold, hard tile floor? Will it lie there? Helpless? For awhile your life revolves around whether or not this can be fixed right here and now.

    There are a few things I know about how I love. I love through the lens of someone who has been hurt badly before and that hurt floats around like a ghost inside of every relationship I get myself into. I can be mentally weak sometimes. I can be depressed at the drop of a hat and that hat stays on the floor for awhile. I know that I’ve experienced a lot of loss in my life, so I never waste my time not showing people just how much I love them. I know that sometimes I spent more time analyzing my past foibles rather than appreciating what they taught me. I know that I repent; I know that I probably have spent more time thinking about that one moment I was a teenager and dropped my kitten on the floor way more than I ever should. I know that I’m 25 years old and I look at love like a linear timeline, therefore trying to solve it like an equation. I am X. You are Y. We are Z. If we don’t add up to Z right now, then I’ll find a different Y. I’m kind of an idiot.

    I’ve spent my entire life thinking that you get one shot to be with someone and that’s it. “If you’re not right for me right now, then you’re not right for me ever”, a line I’ve probably said multiple times in my CW season finale of a love life, my Act 2 build-up moment, my “I am a woman in love, hear me roar!” This was everything I stood for. You meet someone and it either works then and there, or it never works. You meet, you date, you marry. Or you meet, you date, you break up, you marry someone else. Fight or flight. Shit or get off the pot. Right now or never. All or nothing. And then you inevitably end up watching the music video for “All or Nothing” by the tremendously awful boy band, O-Town. The broken love oozes through those creases in my fingers I was talking about earlier, and I move on from it thinking “Well, it’ll be someone else then! Sayonara old Y!” because after all, it had to work right now or else it never would. This was my golden rule. The mission statement to which I’ve lived my entire romantic life by. But then… things change. You learn this isn’t really how love works when you truly love the person.

    Romantic love, on its most visible surface, makes you worry. You worry about this “other person”. If you’re like me, you’ll spend the majority of your time in love worrying about whether or not that person loves you. There’s nothing more terrifying than worrying about whether or not someone still loves you. Admittedly, I’ve spent most of young adult to adult existence stressing about if someone is still in love with me or not. Analyzing every single word we’ve said to each other, trying to deeply to remember the last time she said it to me, crying, fighting it but letting it take over me, becoming this robot whose existence relies solely on: Is she still in love with me? As if my fuel (do robots take fuel?), my power source, is the words in which she tells me this specific code. I need it to keep going. But where am I going? What is this destination I’m trying to reach?

    One of my favorite quotes from Mignon McLaughlin says, We waste a lot of time running after people we could have caught by just standing still. I’ll say it again, there’s nothing more terrifying than worrying about whether or not someone still loves you at this moment. As if there’s an expiration date. But there’s also nothing more comforting than knowing that there will always be love somewhere for you. Maybe not right now. Maybe not with the person you thought. Or maybe not right now but with the person you thought. Either way, if someone loves you, then they’ll love you until they don’t anymore. If someone doesn’t love you, then they are just making room for someone else to love you. Stop running to get to a destination, to reach a goal, to “secure” a future. Love will find you best when you stand still.

    Where am I going with this? Some people you may have met at the wrong time. That is fact. Some people you met at a time and they just weren’t right for you. I’m learning that that is life. Don’t force something into a box it can’t fit into. If it’s right, it will find a way to work. Whether you see each other months, years, decades later, reconnect and then decide to tip-toe back into the waters. Or whether you stay in each other’s lives and when it’s right, it’ll happen again and you get the chance to develop that deep love for them that you couldn’t have if you were in a romantic relationship with them. Either way, love and the person that holds it for you will find its way back to you. On the other hand, you should know that there are people you can write off from your future. I don’t think I need to explain why, but I will. The ones you never trusted for a second and when they smirked when you asked if they cheated on you, it only made it that much more clear to you that you needed to run the fuck away. The ones where it’s so ruined it cannot possibly be revisited, you can’t even have a 2-minute conversation with them without flying off the rails. There are people you know do not belong in your future. You met them and the timing had nothing to do with it, they were just wrong for you. Plain and simple. I’m getting off-track. Let’s go back to this concept of deep love.

    Sometimes I’ve experienced the symptoms of heartache more than I’ve experienced the joys of love. I’ve loved well. I’ve loved horribly. I’ve loved selfishly. I’ve loved selflessly. I’ve loved someone and then the next day did not. I’ve loved with my head. I’ve loved with my whole body and my entire soul. I’ve loved when I didn’t know why. I’ve known why I should love but then didn’t. I’ve been dropped on the cold, hard tile floor and not been picked back up. I’ve squeezed love so hard in my hands that it slipped away. I’ve loved like this was the one. I’ve loved knowing that this wasn’t the one. I’ve loved a lot of ways.

    You’ll realize that you should love her without needing this linear equation that I have always used. Love her without needing a destination. Love her with no end game. Love her because you love her and then love her until you don’t love her anymore, but probably still a little after that.

    Right now is so immediate, so forceful. Right now implies that if the place that you two are in right now has to work otherwise it’s never going to. If you couldn’t complete a 1000 piece puzzle when you were 3 years old does that mean you are never going to be able to complete a 1000 piece puzzle? No. It means that you need time to grow into the person you’re becoming to have the ability to do it. I’m 25 years old yet I have approached love like I’m dying tomorrow. Have I garnered all of the skills, experiences, self-worth, self-awareness, to truly be loved and be loved by someone that I will spend the rest of my life with? Probably not. We approach love thinking that we have to “find the right person” like that’s just the whole. That’s the answer. That as soon as you find this other person that this is the destination. The person. We’ve built an entire societal norm that puts pressure on trying to find “the one”, your soul mate, the “when you know you know” feeling. It takes you years to learn that this is not everything and it’s not so black and white.

    I’m going to tell you a secret. The countless nights you’ve went to bed with someone you wanted to ravage but then it never manifested into anything emotional, the endless mornings where you’ve turned over to the pillow next to you and said “Oh fuck”, the mornings you never wanted to end, the kisses that lingered like balloons on a ceiling, the kisses that you gave away to the wrong people, the tears you cried over someone who didn’t care, the stuffed monkey you gave Kate Diehl that she threw in her garbage can when you two broke up for the 7th time, the collective hours you’ve spent in front of a mirror getting yourself ready for a first date with someone new, the note you got passed in 10th grade when Dan Regan broke up with you during Algebra, the I love you’s, the I hate you’s, the I’m so happy to have met you’s that turned into I wish I never would have met you’s, the amount of whiskey you’ve stomached, the perfectly crafted text messages that you thought would change everything, the promises that were broken, the stairs you took two at a time to see them faster, the times you’ve picked yourself up from the cold, hard tile floor, the quest, the search, the joie de vivre: this is the equation. The person you’re looking for is you. And when you find you, that’s when you’ll be ready for this other person, and maybe they’ll be ready too. You don’t need to smother love as soon as you find it like it’s a tiny kitten. Love without a clear destination in sight. Be still.

     


  5. What 25-year old me would’ve told 20-year old me.

    January 30, 2014 by Brittany_Ashley

    Oh girl. Have I got some news for you. Hey, are you even listening to me? Pull that bean bag over here and pay a-fucking-ttention.

    Here goes:

    -Your idea of what is sexy will change drastically from when you’re 20 to when you’re 25.  When I was in college, my eyes were fixated on the loudest girl in the room; she could sink a cup in beer pong, while simultaneously grinding on her partner and then shout the chorus to whatever song said “pussy” the most times in it. Throw in some hardcore daddy issues and an untreated psychological disorder and you were irrefutably the apple of my eye. My older, wiser eyes now wander towards the girl that’s reading, the girl that’s got her shit together, the girl that has humanity.

    -If you think someone is cheating, they probably are. And yes, with exactly who you thought.

    -Get rid of your astronaut food. The people you keep on a mental list to remind yourself that you’re not completely out of romantic possibilities. You toy with the idea that you may be with them someday, but you know you never will. So grabbing coffee with them when you’re mad at your girlfriend or you fucking them when you’re lonely, ultimately will never nourish you. They’re your bomb-shelter provisions. Clean out your cabinets. Heighten the stakes.

    -When somebody tries to scare you away by telling you that they “are going to ruin you” what they’re really saying is “I’m afraid you’re going to ruin me. So please, oh please, walk away from this because I don’t know how to.”

    -Invest in 2-ply toilet paper. Your asshole will thank you, especially after how much Taco Bell you will eat from ages 20-24.

    -Anticipation before you have sex with a person is the best part of sex. Getting flustered wondering Did she accidentally just touch my hand? My skin just got hot all of a sudden. Was that an accident? God I wish she’d touch me again. I can feel it through my whole body. Is she going to kiss me? I’d die if she kissed me right now is the most romantic thing in the world to me now. Often times, I fantasize about the build-up more than the actual sex. Appreciate the anticipation.

    -Tell her you love her. You’ll regret that you didn’t say it enough.

    -Alcoholics are only attractive when you’re 21. When I was 20, I pissed on more front lawns than you’ll ever mow in your lifetime. Aside from the usual college behavior, it was easier to blame my fuzzy feelings towards girls on that pesky alcohol than the actual overwhelming gayness in my heart of hearts. We’ve all watched our “normal when sober” friends transform into aggressively angry monsters when they drank in college. A half decade later, most of us have accepted the harsh glare of sobriety so the excuse “They’re only that way when they’re drunk!” has now turned into “They’re this way ALL of the time, and it gets worse after Jameson.” The lovers you can’t trust after they’ve been drinking, the friends you can’t be around because you fear they’re going to punch a cab driver in the face for no reason, these are the ones you need to stay away from.

    -You’re not damaged just because you’re not interested in a good person that’s interested in you.

    -Don’t gauge someone’s care for you solely based on what they tell you; action is everything. If someone wants to see you, they’ll see you in a snowstorm, with strep throat and while they’re on their period. I’ve never canceled a date that I’ve actually wanted to go on. Ever. If someone doesn’t want you to slip through their fingers and into someone else’s, they’ll fucking wear Isotoners.

    -Nobody’s ex is their best friend. Run. Run for the fucking hills. You’ll never win the battle.

    -Just because you have nowhere to live, doesn’t mean you should live with a 42-year old man with a stammer that you found on Craigslist. His affinity for skincare products should’ve been your first clue, coupled with the numerous unprovoked declarations of him telling you that ”you can trust him.” Throw in a rage freak-out and in less than a month you will entrust in two of your manliest male friends to throw all of your belongings in garbage bags with you while rushing out of the apartment before he can presumably murder you. Memories, sigh.

    -There is no such thing as “being too nice” – you’re an idiot if you think this is an undesirable trait.

    -Find a bra that fits. Seriously. There’s nothing more disorienting than an ill-fitting bra.

    -Do what you love. This sounds so bland, but it’s the hardest piece of advice to follow through with. When I was 21, I started taking classes at Second City Chicago just because I liked to write. It felt good, actually better than anything I’ve ever done, so I kept doing it. I kept writing. 3 years later, I moved to Los Angeles to pursue writing as a career. Am I going to make it? Who knows. Am I going to change the world with my creative endeavor? Maybe, maybe not. But I’m doing it because it’s what I love. So if you love to write music, write music: make that what you do from now on. If you feel happy painting, pick up a god damn paintbrush.

    -You don’t have to sleep with everyone. Waking up next to someone undesirable is far worse than waking up alone, so pay attention to who you bring home.

    -Everyone is still scarred from their very first heartbreak. It’s our only frame of reference for a few years. Each lover is a flop sequel of the first, each fear and insecurity manifests itself in whoever precedes the original ache. We’ve all given everything we have to someone who took it all. We’ve all been hurt.

    -Mysterious people are overrated. Sure, it was sexy for awhile when you were younger. It’s so hot when they disappear, isn’t it? It kept you on your toes. They go Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol on you after you had what you thought was a pretty great night. You’re left wondering what you can do better. Like me! You will get sick of this quickly. Date a human being, not a phantom.

    -Don’t believe anyone when they say they are going to break up with their significant other for you. Six months later, you’ll see what I’m talking about.

    -It’s not high school anymore. Your self-image is no longer defined by whether or not a select group of straight, white guys think you’re hot or not.

    -If you want someone to love you, give them a reason to. Would you date you? (No homo)

    -There will be days where you’ll believe you’re worth nothing. There will be days where you’ll think you’re ugly. Your skin isn’t good enough. Your hair is shitty. You’re not smart enough. There will be days.

    -No matter how tempting, don’t sleep with anyone that your good friend is interested in. You will tarnish a lifelong friendship for 20 minutes of sex that felt wrong the whole time you were doing it.

    -Call your grandma. She worries about you.

    -One day you’ll sleep with a beautiful girl that you’ve always had a crush on. This doesn’t mean she is gay. This doesn’t mean she is going to date you. Just accept it for what it is. You’ll feel weak because you can’t just carry on a casual, sexual relationship with her.  You’re not weak. You’re sweet, you believe in romance, and she just wanted to fuck you. Accept it for what it is. Also, high-five yourself because let’s face it, she was the hottest girl you’ll ever sleep with.

    -There’s always more money to be made. Sallie Mae will be calling you until you’re in your 40′s. Bitch is persistent.

    -Assuming you’re not a piece of shit, you’ll hear the phrase: “You’re too good for me” at least ten times in your 20’s. This statement reflects on the person telling you this and has little to nothing to do with you.

    -Passion and compatibility are two verrrrrry different concepts. You’re still learning.

    -You don’t always need a million sound reasons on why you should end something. Wanting to run is enough reason to run.

    -Put your fucking phone away.

    -People who claim they don’t need anything from anybody, generally need a lot. Similarly, self-proclaimed needy people appreciate the smallest efforts.

    -You’ll tell yourself for years that you have a type. Your type is a very loose concept. You justify not going after people who are not your physical type by saying you don’t want to compromise your standards, however your type implies people you’ve been attracted to in the past, and how well did that work out? Considering you’re back on the market, I’d say it didn’t work out great. Connections don’t know hair color or height.

    -Move.

    -Ultimatums are never the answer, unless of course you’re asking what the last word of the third Bourne movie was. Ultimatums are forceful. You know why people make decisions? Certainty. Someone not making a decision to choose you should be the only answer you need.

    -That long-distance relationship sounded like a good idea at the time, but you’ll soon realize it takes a very, very committed couple to pull it off. As romantic as it began, the reality of the situation will quickly put out that flame, and your bank account.

    -Believe it or not, being miserable is a hell of a lot easier than being happy. When you’re miserable, the stakes are so low. Some people are afraid to be happy because they’re afraid of the possibility of loss.

    And in the grand finale…

    -Sometimes you have to break your own heart to save it. Allow me to spin a tale… Are we all familiar with the story of Buffy and Angel? You know, the greatest love story of your time? Well, you should be. Buffy and Angel are in love, but in season 2, he reverts back to a demon (I don’t want to bore you all with the AMAZING MYSTICAL CURSES AND GYPSY MYTHOLOGY THAT’S INVOLVED IN THE PLOT– just email me). In “Becoming Part 2” Buffy had to kill Angelus (demon Angel). She had to kill him to close the portal to hell and thus save mankind. There was also a sword fight and stuff, but the point is, she had to kill him, their love, everything it meant to her, to save herself and everyone around her. I mean, I don’t want to lay the metaphors too heavily here, but I think we’ve all dated a few Angelus’, and regardless of how amazing the sex was, how warm our skin would get just being near them, we knew it was unhealthy. (NOTE: For the record, she had to kill ANGELUS because of what ANGELUS did. Angel was merely an innocent vessel and deserved to be with Buffy forever and ever. And though I’m sure it goes without saying, anyone that is pro-Spike can just get the hell off of my blog).

     


  6. Paul Walker Obituary

    December 1, 2013 by Brittany_Ashley

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    Saturday, November 30, 2013

    It was 6:42pm when I heard the news. I was eating Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Almonds, you know, the ones with sea salt and turbinado sugar on them. My close friend from childhood, Ashley, texted me “Did you hear about Paul Walker? I don’t know if I want to be the one to break this to you.” But she was. My laundry in the washer had to wait, this was going to change things.

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    I was at the ripe age of 9 when I learned what a real crush was. Sure, I had an endless crush on Bobby Passenheim who lived across the street from me. We played basketball until the sun came up, what was a girl to think? But nothing, up until I was 9, compared to how I felt when I first saw Paul Walker onscreen. My grandmother used to take my sister and I out every other weekend or so to the movie theatre, which now I understand is the only time where children are quiet. Well-played Grandma. As a peace offering between two rivaling sisters who could never agree on a movie, my grandma used to let us each pick one and then we’d do a double feature. It was that fateful Friday night in 1998 that I first saw his dreamy face. Heather foolishly picked The Newton Boys as her film which I suffered through even without a fully-formed teenage brain, but I… I proudly chose Meet the Deedles. Why? 1) I saw that cute guy on the poster with blue Troll doll hair. 2) Prairie Dogs. 3) Surfing (It’s important to mention I went through a really deep surfing phase in my adolescence though I lived in rural Illinois). 4) Oh, those are waves. Meet the Deedles instantly became one of my favorites; I laughed, I ate Milk Duds, and I swooned over this fresh face. Also, did I mention I was 9? AND IN LOVE!

    6:43pm: I get the text from my college best friend, Lizzy. “…Are you okay” – to which my response in general will always be: “Probably not” but this time, it was: “Most definitely not”. She didn’t even have to say his name, we knew what this conversation was about. She tried to quell me by putting Wish Upon a Star the Disney channel original movie, in its entirety, on my Facebook wall. But wishing upon a star won’t bring Paul back. No. Not this time. A few minutes later, Jen texts to check up on me. Followed by Alex. Chris simply sends a sad face. My friends are worried about me.

    In the late 90′s, America followed my lead. The general public swooned with me for Pleasantville when he played the ever-so-gentle Skip Martin that gets deflowered onscreen. 1999 was his quintessential bad boy year; he played the antagonist to his less-than counterparts, weak little James Van Der Beek (Varsity Blues) and Freddie Prinze, Jr. the Persian-looking ghoul (She’s All That). I could hardly get my hands on all of the magazine covers that he was gracing, so I could inevitably tuck them away under my pillow. Next came The Skulls, then the original Fast and the Furious and I think I speak for everyone when I say we all took a joy ride when he was in Joy Ride.

    6:54pm: After refreshing my Google search for ten minutes, it’s suspected that his death was a hoax! Phew! Not even a minute later, that conspiracy theory proclaims that it’s not a hoax!  WELL WHICH IS IT? This emotional rollercoaster is ruining me! Up. Down. Up. Down. I feel like Reese Witherspoon in Fear except that no one is fingering me while “Wild Horses” plays in the background. I immediately don’t even remember what I thought about before I wondered if Paul Walker was still alive or not.

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    When I was in junior high, my older sister and I shared an HP Pavilion laptop. After relentless battles of both of us changing the desktop wallpaper to fit our very different personalities, one day we reached a happy medium, nay- the happiest medium. It was a picture of Paul Walker (Actual aforementioned wallpaper pictured left). He did more stuff between 2001-2008… Including Eight Below which I forced myself to watch because I cannot watch animal movies, especially ones with snow dogs! White Fang doesn’t always make it.

    6:58pm: It’s confirmed. Paul Walker passed away in a brutal car accident. After nearly an hour of news publications going back and forth on their word and blaming TMZ for possibly reporting a hoax, it was announced on his Twitter and his Facebook that he had passed on. He died at the age of 40, leaving behind his daughter Meadow.

    I was 19 when I came out of the clozz (my new term for closet, spread it around #clozz). I was young. I was worried that I spoke too soon.  Am I COMPLETELY sure? Like, am I SURE sure? It took me a few years to be completely and utterly sure, but yes I’m sure. Though there was always one diamond in the rough (Cue flashbacks to the first time I saw Meet the Deedles). A few people would (and still do) brazenly ask me if I could ever see myself with a man, to which I would matter-of-factly reply “Only Paul Walker.” And I meant it. With my luck, I was just waiting to meet Paul Walker one day, have him fall in love with me (he liked plain looking girls, I thought I was a shoe-in), and then we’d laugh on our yacht and be like “Lesbian? Me? What a PHASE that was!” The slight shimmer of doubt that I had that maybe I wasn’t fully gay was always built around the idealogy that I would absolutely ravage, date and then eventually marry Paul Walker, if the opportunity arose.

    Paul Walker might’ve been in the driver’s seat of that tragic, fiery car wreck today, but the last traces of my heterosexuality were certainly riding shotgun. RIP Paul, you’ll be whole-heartedly missed by this lesbian.

     

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  7. An Open Letter To My Future Wife

    October 29, 2013 by Brittany_Ashley

    Hey Boo,

    (Side note: I assume that “boo” is still an appropriate term of endearment in the future and that no other term has been invented yet that makes white people feel slightly more ebonic and therefore slightly more cool when saying it.)

    As most emotionally delusional women do, I’ve always had this fantasy that someone would chase after me through an airport, charging past the security line, grabbing my arm right before I’m about to board the plane to (insert trendy US city/tropical island/impoverished African country) and confess their love for me and tell me not to go. I step onto each plane with the stinging urge for my futile travel plans to be interrupted for love, to no avail. As time elapsed, my fantasy started to skew a bit and get more realistic, and therefore less grandiose. I started to have the fantasy that someone would show up on my doorstep at 4am one night when I’m a bottle of red deep, typing away at my computer, and just feeling completely ready to fall in love with the hand that knocks on my door, and say “Yes, you.” After rushing to my window like a child waiting for their estranged parent to come home after hearing a car door slam in the driveway, I started to lose hope in that fantasy. When I swung open the door only to be greeted by oxygen, my fantasy started to lower its standards. I fantasized about someone hugging me after an all day exhausting writing frenzy. I fantasized about someone answering my phone for me when Sallie Mae calls and saying “Brittany no live here no more!” in a borderline racist Asian accent so that I don’t have to. I fantasized about someone rubbing my head until I fall asleep.I fantasized about someone coming to my family’s unconventional Thanksgiving and walking away from it saying, “I get you. And I love them.” I fantasized about someone telling me they loved me, and then a handful of months/years/lifetimes later, still meaning it. I fantasized about someone telling me to never change my (insert weird trait about myself that everyone else I’ve dated was severely irritated with but that you, my future wife, will love).

    Words can’t describe how incredibly lucky I am to have met you at (insert bar name/art gallery name/comedy venue name/awards show). I didn’t believe (insert friend with sometimes unreliable opinion’s name) when they told me that we would be a perfect match, especially since most of my set-ups have been dead ends. A shock will come to many people when they realize that the basis for a successful relationship doesn’t stem from: You like girls, she likes girls, live happily ever after in the rustic studio apartment of your dreams with your adopted greyhound named Buffy 2.0. Needless to say, I was starting to give up on love when I met you. The truth is, I was starting to give up on myself when I met you.

    The thought of you made life bearable during the shitty times. I went through a better part of my 20’s trying to do things to get my mind off of a cyclical pain that all stemmed from romantic turmoil. Those social media sites (remember Facebook and Instagram?) were homages to “See! I’m quirky and I’m having fun!” to garner some sort of recognition and thus feel better about myself. I even had a blog (Lame, I know, but you accept me anyways). The only reason I was able to deal with all that heartbreak was knowing that somewhere you existed. Somewhere in this world, you were alive and walking on the Earth so this feeling of emptiness, like being homesick for a place I hadn’t been to yet, was slightly less deafening and a little more hopeful. I didn’t watch with jealousy as all of my friends had their own successful relationships while I was fumbling every romantic toss. There were the heinous, tumultuous relationships that made me cry black mascara tears a la Lauren Conrad on “The Hills”. There were the month-long flings that did more harm than good. There were the one-night stands that left me feeling empty. But I will say that these all gave me amazing stories (cue Disappearing Girl story, cue Blowing Conan Writer story, cue Spring Break in Mexico story) that I will write about, make an assload of money off of, and then eventually pay for our super gay wedding with (amongst other luxurious lifestyle needs: your Prius, our in-ground pool, throwing a birthday party for Buffy 2.0). My romantic life before you was not completely in vain (since it got me ready for you), but it was unquestionably futile in comparison.

    My exes will tell you I have beautiful footsteps. Some of them never realized what I meant to them until I was gone. You’ll never feel the need to lose me to realize my worth, you tell me all the time. My heart feels safe with you. The crushing paranoia that I’ve had with former lovers won’t exist with you. There were times that I would be dating someone who made my heart feel very unsafe, like a little girl clutching her bed sheets tight, putting her blanket above her nose. In moments like these, I could close my eyes and picture a cartoon heart popping out of my chest, looking at me, and making a run for it down the street. I watch it run away as cartoon blood pumps out of the empty hole that was left. With you, I picture my heart lying calmly in the hammock of comfort that you give to me, presumably drinking a margarita and wearing sunglasses. Did I say hammock? I meant luxurious lake house with jetski’s! (You have a wealthy uncle but also I’m wildly successful).

    And now you’re here and you’re inexplicably everything I’ve ever wanted in another human being. You’re nice to the cab driver. You’re appreciative of the busboy. You hold doors for anyone, including self-involved asshole men in suits that push their way through; you laugh at those people because you’re so far removed from that. You apologize for silly things that you don’t have to. You’ve read the books I never wanted to but you’re not pretentious about it. You laugh at my literary and/or grammar jokes even when they are really awful.

    You make me feel sexy in a way no one ever has before. I don’t feel the need to cup my breasts during sex, as if I’m unveiling my nipples in a grand finale of junior high locker room insecurities. You think the Romanian tuft of fur on my arms is irresistible. You find my crooked nose endearing. My eyes are just foreplay and my freckled little shoulders are the orgasm. Sometimes we high five after sex, sometimes we just lie in our conjoined arms and listen to each other breathe.

    You’re my biggest fan, but you most certainly don’t obsess over my work a la “Swimfan” (though you did almost hit a girl on a moped once). I still feel the need to impress you. You’re not going to make my job easy. I’ll try to write something as beautiful as you but I won’t be able to. So I’ll give up and just write teen thrillers for the CW because I will be so stumped. But they’ll sell like fucking hot cakes and we will live in a beautiful mansion and both have walk-in closets that are controlled by desktop computers a la “Clueless.” You’ll encourage me to write scripts with deeper meaning. I will. Those will sell, too.

    Thank you for existing. The countless nights where I’ve been up during the saddest hours of the night, sipping dark liquor, typing furiously at my computer about a lover whose long since forgotten me, thus culminating into a short piece of work that will give me momentary relief – these nights were the toughest. But, just the mere thought of you saved me.

    Yours,

    Britt


  8. College Me versus Present Me

    September 9, 2013 by Brittany_Ashley

    As I sit in my dungeon-style room on a Sunday night where virtually all of my friends are out drinking, I reflect on my life. How did you get here, Brittany Ashley? How did you get into those weird American Apparel pajama shorts that look like colonial underpants while sporting a braid that even Pocahantas would scoff at? I’ve traded in my beer for a tall glass of water. I’ve put my cigarettes away to enjoy a freshly-washed nectarine I bought at the Farmer’s Market. I did the dishes and not a bowl (GET IT? I heard there’s a big market for marijuana-plateware jokes).

    You get it. I’m sitting here like an adult, typing to ALL OF MY BILLIONS OF FANS THAT READ THIS BLOG STRAIGHTLESBIAN.COM, while you were out. And it made me think, Wow, I’ve changed a lot since college.

    My opinion, my approach, my reality on so many different areas of life have taken quite the left turn since the good ol’ days at UIC (CLASS OF ’11 BUT TECHNICALLY ’12 BECAUSE I NEEDED AN EXTRA SEMESTER, REPRESENT!)…but I’m surprisingly okay with the results. Let’s start here:

     

    Typical Thursday night:

    College Me: I WAN’ GET DRUNK ‘N FUUUUUUCK!

    Present Me: I want Netflix to stream faster so I can see what this “House of Cards” hoot is all about! Also, I want to finally win at Yummy Rummy on GrubHub to accompany my Netflix binge in a fiscally responsible manner.

    College Me, along with College Everyone just wanted to find cheap pitchers to down and confused girls to trick into thinking you were their cup of sexual tea (Or maybe the second part was just me). My wants were very minimal. I want to not go to class in the morning but I want to get an A on the final. I want to sleep until 1pm. I want my roommate to not eat my Nacho Cheese Doritos, nor do I want her to lie about it, thus creating a riff in our roommate relationship. Present Me is a little more realistic. Did I say realistic? I meant AMAZING. Present Me wants to find a tasty quinoa salad while perusing the Whole Foods salad bar. Present Me enjoys a nice glass of red wine at dinner…dinner I made for myself, and only myself. Present Me wants to curl up in bed with a nice book about the Holocaust (or other events in history that I find particularly interesting). Present Me wants to wake up at 8am to go hiking so she better go to bed at 11pm on the dot. As we get older, we start to do things that will benefit us in the real world, not in the imaginary world where being an amazing beer pong partner is the goal of goals (which I’ve already achieved anyways, right Fahey?)

     

    On Meal Choices:

    College Me: BAGEL BITES ARE HEALTHY BECAUSE BAGELS ARE HEALTHY, CHEESE IS HEALTHY AND I THINK A TOMATO IS A FRUIT, WHICH AS WE KNOW, IS HEALTHY!

    Present Me: A sale at Trader Joe’s on arugula? Someone’s gonna get crafty with salads this week!

    I remember going grocery shopping with my roommates/friends (but never roommates that were my friends) in college and going straight to the frozen pizza section, cleaning out their stock of Tombstone and Jack’s pizzas, maybe throwing an apple in for good measure (though it would rot in the crisper months later and die utterly alone) and call it a successful day. My body was so hopped up on $2 hot dogs, Flavor Blasted Goldfish and blue Gatorade that you’d think I was TRYING to die from obesity. Times, they have a’changed. I drink three sips of Coke and my stomach instantly declares war on my bowels. I can’t even finish an entire frozen pizza anymore (…I know) and the idea of microwaving my meals has completely lost its appeal. These days, I’m all about cooking every meal, finding new ways to prepare Thai fusion cuisine, and also, buying practically only produce and fresh meats. I try to treat my body like, well not a temple, but at least a semi-important building, and hope that it appreciates the sacrifices I’ve made.

     

    On Jobs:

    College Me: $7.50 an hour? You’ve got yourself a deal, Hollister!

    Present Me: I just think $60,000 is a TAD low for how much more value I will be putting into this working environment.

    I’m the self-proclaimed shitty job holder. I delivered pizzas for $2 a pizza. I was an ump for youth softball games for $20 a game. I threw newspapers on your doorstep at 4am while you were still sleeping and I was driving through the rain in my non-automatic windowed Pontiac while trying to chuck a Sunday issue onto your doorstep a la Sega Genesis’ “Paperboy” (otherwise I would most certainly be FIRED!) In college, I really stepped it up and started working retail, because as we know, all the money is in retail. Once I escaped that literal hell, I stepped into restaurants where the money is good, but the emotional turmoil is priceless. Though it’s a side job, it pays zee bills, it pays for zee second-hand clothing I sport, and it allows me to put a pretty penny away… Okay so maybe I haven’t figured this whole job thing out, BUT I’M WORKING ON IT! I’m gonna write things for money, remember? (Now I want all of you to agree with me!)

     

    On Friendships:

    College Me: I WANT A MILLION FRIENDS AND HEY WE SHOULD TOTALLY BE FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK!

    Present Me: You spelled “discontinuity” wrong in your latest status update… Eh, maybe I’ll see you around.

    In college, we wanted to be friends with everyone. You saw someone totally killing it at Flippy Cup, YOU WANNA BE THEIR FUCKING FRIEND! You see the same person at every house party, BAM! FRIENDS! We wanted to be wanted by everyone because Lord forbid you were alone for even ONE second in college, you’d explode. In the past year, I’ve deleted at least 100 people on Facebook that I met at a party once and who I certainly have no interest in seeing a 3D sonogram picture of their unplanned fetus. In present day, we just want to be needed by a select few. Our desire to become friends with people who have interests that go beyond what color rum we both enjoy to take shots of becomes more clear (see what I did there?) as we get older. My specifications for who I keep in my life are at an all-time high. They currently are: 1) Laugh at my jokes, 2) Don’t make plans you don’t intend on keeping, 3) Don’t be a mess, 4) Tip at least 20%,  and 5) Listen to me bitch and read my blog: StraightLesbian.com and report back after every post (LOL JK). Okay so I guess I’ve never had the highest of standards but some gremlins have clawed their way into my life without qualifying for any of those. If I learned anything from “Tuesdays with Morrie”* it’s that time is precious, so you should spend your time around people that enrich your life, not make it plummet into the cement.

    *Not a literary reference, but a Tuesday ritual where I watch the daytime talk show, “Maury”.

     

    On Fashion:

    College Me: WEARING SWEATPANTS TO CLASS IS AN EXPRESSION OF MY LAID-BACK APPROACH TO LIFE! ALSO I’M HUNGOVER!

    Present Me: Oh this? It’s a Land’s End cardigan…

    You know those girls in college that tried too hard to get ready for class in the morning? Yeah me neither. We all had an unspoken agreement that how we look in our 9am Anthro class was not representative of how we look on the weekends. If I didn’t have time to wash my hair in the past three days, it was time to start liking the way hats look. Oh this shirt? Yeah I spilled beer on it last night, but PSHH who is ACTUALLY going to notice? Yeah… I am wearing heels with sweatpants. What? You expect me to walk ALL the way back to my apartment to get COMFORTABLE SHOES? No thanks, logic. The way I dressed in college to class was the way that I now only dress right after I get out of the shower, before I put on regular clothes that I don’t want to get wet. Rather than having “comfy shirts” in the regular rotation, I’ve replaced those with cardigans, “blouses” (as they call them), and sensible tops at a reasonable price. Your shoe collection extends beyond your trusty Converse that were key in getting around during the bar crawls. And unfortunately, you save the collegiate gear for sleepwear.

    On Living Conditions:

    College Me: I CAN’T PAY MORE THAN $400 A MONTH, YOU SEEM COOL, LET’S MOVE INTO THIS GARDEN UNIT THAT HAS “CHARACTER”!

    Present Me: I’d rather not go over $1,000 per person, but if it’s the right, safe neighborhood, I’m willing to. Also, you don’t work from home, right? And you aren’t a “partier”, right? Because I like to get enough sleep to start my day fresh and alert.

    In college, our standards were pretty low when it came to pretty much everything: alcohol we drank (Burnett’s), sexual partners (You have okay skin), and people we hung around with (You have weed? Okay cool.) However, nothing was more apparent of our poor choices than our apartments. We didn’t have a lot of money and our apartments/dorms were just a place to hang our awkward sexual encounters. Nearly all of my mattresses were on the ground, sans box spring, and I didn’t have a door in two of them. Who needs a door when you have a 30-rack of Coors Lite? Not me, apparently. As the ripe age of 24, I’ve learned that you should have a door to your room rather than just a bunch of beads handing from the door frame (because otherwise it’s not a legal room, but also it’s super inconvenient), you should have an apartment with a working oven and stovetop, and you should also maybe get a bed frame. I’ve only lived in my current apartment for four months and already I’ve painted the room twice (the second time I used painter’s tape! AND TARP!) and my, my, how splendid it looks to give off the impression that you have an adult home.

     

    On Love:

    College Me: WILL U MAKE OUT WITH ME IN PUBLIC, YES OR NO? ALSO CAN WE HAVE SEX?

    Present Me: Will you respect me and care for me like the sensitive, intelligent woman that I am?

    Let’s face it, most of our college flings were fleeting. College isn’t real life. It’s a summer camp that lasts 4 years, and how many of THOSE relationships worked out?! Our college lives lacked responsibility, most of you rats never had a job, and we were nearly always drunk. I rarely experienced the type of deep affection towards another person that I read about in my English 242 lit class. Having a college relationship was more freeing than a high school relationship, but just a stepping stone to an actual adult relationship. Most of the girls I had flings with in college were grounded on “We made out at a party! I think she’s majoring in Finance or something!” Again, standards were low. Now, as a fully-formed adult, I have learned to dismiss women who A) Aren’t gay (Did we ever think I would get here, people?), 2) Don’t treat me well, 3) Give me that feeling in my stomach that makes me want to simultaneously throw up and shit my pants at the exact same time. The desire for PASSION and MINDLESS SEX starts to drift away and you just want someone who gets you, doesn’t want you to change and treats you like you’re the next Princess Diana (as I presume Princess Diana was treated like a god damn Princess). Your needs start to outweigh your wants, and sometimes they form a perfect balance. You want someone you’re attracted to. You want someone you can have fun with and laugh at anything with. You need to feel like you can trust the person you’re pouring your heart, soul and precious time (see: “Maury” joke) into. You need to feel safe with the person you’re trying to build an adult life with. As a good rule of thumb: When the person you’re investing your heart into can give you diarrhea just from their words, it’s probably time to skedaddle.

     

    So listen to me, because I have EVERYTHING figured out as you can see. Now if you excuse me, I’m going to fall asleep while crying, like an adult.


  9. Being yourself is fucking great.

    May 23, 2013 by Brittany_Ashley

    The worst advice I’ve ever received in my life was in college on the brink of my self-discovery. One fateful night I was with a very fortunate friend that unknowingly got a front row seat on the rollercoaster ride known as Brittany’s Love Life (more accurately named these days as The Britt Experience). I was post-bar inhaling frozen pizza with said Intoxicated Friend as they concentrated on everything but the words that were spewing out of me. Putting it lightly, Intoxicated Friend was totally over listening to me bitch about my problems and how the girl I was completely in love with didn’t give me the time of day. I was profoundly explaining how I was floored by this inactivity I was getting. How nothing did the trick to impress this girl that seized my heart: Not my love letters (YEAH, I’M FUCKING ROMANTIC OKAY!), not my random acts of kindness, not my explosively raw sexual magnetism. It was literally impossible to make this person love me back. At a certain point, Intoxicated Friend turns to me, sick of my shit, with a mouthful of Freschetta pizza and says: “Try being less like you.”

    Try being less like me? I thought to myself… EUREKA!

    Just like the most annoying Dave Matthews Band song of them all: I DID IT! I took everything about myself and did the complete opposite for at least a good week. I was evasive. I acted like I didn’t care about her. I even pretended to willingly enjoy Maroon 5 when they came on the radio. And guess what, Mr. Matthews? She couldn’t take it anymore. I was the meth to her AJ McLean. She needed to have me. I finally caught that evasive little butterfly that I was lustfully pining after for months and months.

    Once I got her, my soul sighed and I slowly let her bask in the true ambiance of Britt. Problem was, she didn’t want to bask. Bask in my love, god dammit! Inevitably, she quickly realized that she didn’t want to be with someone who likes to (gasp) talk about their feelings when they’re having feelings that needed to be talked about WHICH WASN’T OFTEN JUST WHEN THEY WERE NECESSARY, OKAY?! She didn’t want to be with someone who aspired to be a writer and who didn’t want to be a stock broker or whatever you successful men do these days. Stocks, more like SOCKS, am I right people? Enough about stocks, more about me. My point is: I used someone else’s butterfly net and I caught a butterfly that didn’t belong to me. I wasted so much time trying to be someone I wasn’t just because I thought it was what they wanted (Conclusion: That butterfly ended up belonging to a rich Jewish butterfly but I still feel like I came out on top in that scenario). Consequently, the first and only time I’ve ever been in love, I got her the wrong way, the non-Britt way. And judging from those amazing results, I think I’d rather not do that the next time I fall in love.

    As human beings, we have this innate urge to not be ourselves sometimes. “Be yourself!” left a weird taste in our mouth because it’s what our grandmothers used to say to us before they sent us off to school in pastel overalls looking like a fool where all the Hispanic kids made fun of us and put Mac ‘N Cheese in our hair (Oh, just me?) We forget to be ourselves for a few reasons: mainly, it’s to get the attention of someone whose face we want to sexually destroy, but we feel like we can’t do it with just our own devices. Rather than jumping to the obvious solution of Hey be yourself, moron, we decide to take the long way home and pretend to be a person we don’t even recognize, forgetting that your greatest weapon is being you.

    Well, how did this shitty phenomenon start? Maybe you used to think you were a catch but at some point on your road to your sexual peak, someone made you feel like wet garbage. It’s not your fault that you whole-heartedly went into something that you so deeply believed you wanted, and then you came out brutally torn. Now your ego has third-degree burns, your heart was smashed with a sledgehammer and in a reverse “Shallow Hal” you look in the mirror and see some sea creature staring back at you. IT’S LIKE YOU’RE MY MIRROR!

    There were people in our past who have solely existed in our lives to make us feel insecure about who we are. This started for me in junior high. I had a teacher in 8thgrade that was convinced I plagiarized a poem, because she didn’t believe I was capable of writing something well. I’m sorry lady, but where’s your award-winning novel? Similarly, I had a Spanish teacher in high school that, for whatever reason, hated me to my core. I could be answering a question correctly and she would scowl at me for paying attention. Porque? After getting kicked out of class for being “too hostile during extra credit games”, I realized it wasn’t my unrelenting competitive spirit of a champion that she was angry at, it was her nasty divorce combined with a gentleman suitor who probably never called her back. My point is, you need to look at these people and ask yourself “Who the fuck are they to put me under a microscope?” People who knock you for who you are, are generally unsure of who they are so they feel a power of you watching you squirm.

    Unrelated to demonic Spanish teachers, there are some people you’ve met whose heart was never captured by you, regardless of how much they effortlessly captured your’s. For whatever reason, you weren’t for them, the way that some people aren’t for you. The way birds aren’t for me. The way that eggs aren’t for me. The way mushrooms aren’t for me. The way dicks aren’t for me. Oh god I’m going to throw up all over my keyboard. Maybe they didn’t like your hair, maybe they thought your teeth looked like baby teeth, who gives a shit. This human being missed out and they’ll never know (UNTIL YOU’RE FAMOUS!) You move on the way those people have moved on from you.

    As most people do, you carry your past with you the way women and closeted gay men carry Chapstick with them. You doubt yourself because someone you cared about once doubted you. Here’s a good rule: Don’t ever doubt how truly great you are because that type of insecurity can destroy a person. Just ask sophomore year of college Britt. She’s still somewhere in her Chicago dorm room, 19 years old, lost, crying while watching “Miss Congeniality” on mute while Nine Inch Nails blasts through her HP Pavilion speakers. How many licks does it take til you get the center of my emotional insecurities? About 3.

    Doubting yourself is the death of all things wonderful because you see yourself as inferior to others. Am I attractive enough for this person that has been featured in a Kohl’s catalog? Am I funny enough for this person that can make a whole room erupt in laughter? Am I intelligent enough for this person that wears glasses daily? It turns you into this monster that takes selfies on Instagram just to feel self-worth (LIKE IT! LIKE IT OR ELSE I CRY!) And it makes you doubt your own greatness and compare yourself to other people who you so deeply believe are greater than you. It’s easy to want to give up on people who we feel like we aren’t strong enough to hold onto. So when we see other people do these things that are admirable or cool or interesting or unfamiliar or they play the acoustic guitar, I think we automatically assume that it takes away from us. That if they sing like a rockstar or can climb up a pole faster than a koala bear, that anything we do is canceled out because we can’t compete with that. It’s funny how we view a certain skill or sex appeal or intelligence like there’s a limited amount of it in the world and once we find someone that has it, it’s no longer available to us. We see an attractive person and we think FUCK, well now I can’t be super hot because that person exists among me in this world. Now we’re sitting here, pissed off at our parents for not forcing us into ballet or aggressively insisting that we learn to play the piano when we were younger. Don’t ever doubt that what you do, and who you are, isn’t cool to someone else. The moment you doubt that, the other person is going to doubt that too and then both of you are going to be unsure of how you feel about you. And that’s fucking stupid. If someone is unsure about you, let them be unsure, because right around the corner is some hot little ticket whose gonna think that everything you do is gold.

    I have an idea. Maybe this whole “self-doubt by comparison” thing is a product of our generation. Living in this annoying technological world, we have been passed on the shit sandwich that is knowing what everyone else is doing with their life. We see these awful human beings we went to high school with and angrily scroll through their wedding album thinking “…THEY GOT MARRIED?! Are you fucking kidding me, universe?” Somehow narcissistically turning the happiest day of their lives into our own downward spiral of self-deprecation. Whenever I think about how I may never meet someone who loves me for me, I think about Hitler… Hear me out. He had a very happy marriage to Eva Braun, someone who probably called him Addy and would scratch his little mustache in awe. She knew he was an awful person yet she stayed with him until the day he died…which is not so coincidentally also the day she died. In fact, they loved each other so much that in the ultimate act of love, they decided that they couldn’t be without each other for even a second. Yeah, they committed suicide. As we know, Hitler was the worst fucking human being on the planet, YET SOMEONE LOVED HIM FOR HIM.

    Let us not forget about Seal. Look at Seal for Christ’s sake. He was like “Yeah I’ve got scars, who gives a fuck. Let’s do this, Heidi Klum” and BAM next thing you know he’s married to one of the hottest women in America. You think if he met her and he was covering his face with a newspaper and was all self-deprecatey that she would’ve been into him? No. Because guess what, I’m sure deep-down Heidi had some scars of her own. Emotional ones.

    Whenever I start to go off track (like right now), I grab myself by the, I don’t know, collar? and say: Get ahold of yourself, lady. I look in the mirror deeply into my blue eyes and say: Hey idiot, you’re fucking adorable. You tip more than 20% always. You can make people laugh. And most importantly, you’re a master of multi-orgasms! I repeat, MASTER OF MULTI-ORGASMS. I pull myself by my little eyebrow hairs and say “Be you little B.” But I wasn’t always the strong, stoic Greek goddess of a woman I am today (what?)

    Have you ever heard that expression“Every time you take a shot of Jameson, a self-conscious lesbian gets penis envy”? No you haven’t, because I just made it up. And to that lonely leslie I say this: Amidst my straight girl/bisexual girl phase, do you know how many times I doubted who I was because I didn’t have a penis? That is the literally the most insane thing I’ve ever typed. I’m mad because I don’t have a penis? That’s like being mad you didn’t have braces growing up. Don’t get down on yourself for not having a penis. Because you know what guys don’t have? A vagina. And you know what the most beautiful thing on the planet is, next to a Georgia O’Keefe painting? That’s right, a vagina. Living things come out of it, an entire bottle of Gatorade can go in it: it’s like a god damn miracle hidden in my sweatpants right now. Did I say sweatpants? I meant super sexy thong underwear. A girl that really digs you will look at your fingers like works of the Heavens, chipped nail polish and all. They’ll be like “Penis? What’s that? Is that a new club in downtown LA? Because you know I hate paying cover.” (For the record, I don’t wish I have a penis, I just wish some girls didn’t wish I had a penis.)

    The benefits of being yourself? Once you see how awesome you are, you get to start making choices that you always put in other people’s grubby paws. Hey isn’t this a crazy concept, you get to choose who you want to privy to your attention. You choose who you want to date.  You choose who you get to make a fucking kick ass breakfast for in the morning after a night of them getting to see you naked because you chose to allow them to see you naked. You also get to choose who you cut out of your life because they don’t deserve your mouth inside of their mouth. 

    Be you because it’s easier than being someone else. I’ve tried to not be me before many times. And it doesn’t work. Because being me is a lot easier than trying to be someone else. And it weeds out all the losers that won’t like me for me. And not being me isn’t very fun. Me likes to go to McDonald’s and treat me-self. Not-Me wouldn’t like that. I don’t want to live in a world where a version of me doesn’t like McDonald’s. Similarly, what would Not-Me watch on Netflix? Monk? Gross. I’m getting nauseated just thinking about this universe.

    Whenever I start to get overwhelmed by the amount of ME that isn’t being liked by a girl, I look hopefully towards the future. I urge you to do the same. Find comfort in knowing that those qualities about you that your ex loathed about you, your next girlfriend or boyfriend will get a monsoon in their panties over. Amber Alert! Revel in the fact that someday soon you are going to meet someone that is going to get off on just watching you breathe. You just have to exist as yourself, not as the person your ex wanted you to be. You don’t have to emulate that mysteriously sexy girl from college that we still follow on Instagram just to see what wacky floral outfit she’ll throw on next. No, we don’t have to be them. We get to be ourselves. There’s someone out there that is going to think you are the coolest fucking person the planet. They will be your biggest fan of whatever the fuck you do. There are people out there where you don’t have to try to convince them that they should want to have sex with you and only you, repeatedly. Don’t cry about these girls (or boys or both) that make you feel inferior. Save your tears for the Titanic reboot (we know that’s gonna be a goddamn heartbreaker), don’t waste them on people who don’t know you’re awesome. Days, months, years from now, some down ass chick (maybe Ashanti?) is gonna be front row on the rollercoaster ride called the Britt Ashley experience, and they’re gonna love every god damn twist and turn. They’ll smile for the camera and buy the picture on the way down the exit ramp. Holy shit guys, I miss Six Flags. 

    If you take anything away from this catharsis that may be meaningless, it should be this: You are great. You are fucking great. You’re you, that should never be a question in your noggin. Being you is the coolest thing you can do, yet for whatever reason it’s also sometimes the hardest thing to do sometimes. But it will be the best and most effortless decision you’ve ever made. You want to attract people who like you for you. Not women who just want you for your amazing body or how mind-blowing incredible you are in bed (Ladies, seriously stop, it’s starting to get ridiculous having to fight you off with a stick). You want to attract a butterfly who will pray that your net goes near them just to feel your breeze pass by. Be your-fucking-self, otherwise you’re just going to attract moths. And moths are fucking disgusting.


  10. “Girls” S02E08 & E09: Hiding the darkness

    March 23, 2013 by Brittany_Ashley

    “It’s depressing. It’s dark, darker than you are”

     

    Towards the end of Season 2, each character started to question (and fear) the person they are starting to become; they get what they think they wanted but no longer want it, or they do something that seems completely out-of-character for them. Episodes 8 & 9 were an homage to that.

    Ray is starting to realize that he is a man in his 30′s dating a college girl in her early 20′s who wants to go out and party and who has friends named Radika that still rollerblade to class in full-pads. Shoshanna goes to said party and hooks up with the latino doorman rocking cubic zirconias in both ears, cheating on Ray and then lying about it in episode 9 (“I held the doorman’s hand”). She starts to see that Ray isn’t the only man that she could sleep with, unleashing a sex-hungry little beast inside of her that she never knew was there. Hannah is starting to realize that she’s a little more crazy than she used to always pretend she was. Now it’s becoming a lot more serious and she’s starting to realize it’s a crazy that needs to be treated. And of course, Marnie is starting to see that she’s not a 9-to-5′er successful business type that has it all together, but that she is a struggling artist, a type of person that she always looked down on. And Jessa… well, we don’t exactly know where she is right now.

    However, we have the exception to the rule… Adam. The one character who has consistently, and unapologetically, been the same character throughout. We had our “a ha” moment with Adam last season where he did a complete turn-around (kind of) and became Hannah’s boyfriend. This season, he was burned by Hannah who got what she wanted but then no longer wanted it any longer… leaving Adam in the dust. In Episode 8 of this season, Adam goes to an AA-type meeting where he catches the eye of a fluffy-haired fast-talking lady who wants to hook him up with her daughter. He goes on a date with Natalia (you may remember her as Jesse Bradford’s Vespa riding girlfriend that ends up in the hospital after Erika Christensen runs her shit over) and everything goes great. Also, Natalia, good name right?

    The only reason he goes on this date, is essentially to get over Hannah. But think about this, aside from the fact that he’s incredibly courteous and polite, HE’S AT A RESTAURANT WITH A SHIRT ON - when have we ever seen Adam go out on a date with Hannah? Never. This was our first clue that he wasn’t acting like himself. Because this isn’t the authentic Adam. Adam doesn’t wine and dine bitches, he takes them back to his dungeon apartment and calls them dirty little whores… which…. is what happens. Which brings me to the theme of this blog post for Episodes 8 & 9: How we lighten our darkness when we first meet someone. 

    In the very beginning of Episode 9, we assume that Natalia and Adam have had their “first time” together after she states: I’m ready to have sex now. You’ve been nice all week. A quote that has never been said to me, but whatever it’s fine. We assume their sex was relatively normal. We also must assume that Adam was more toned down than he generally is in sex because we didn’t see it, and because of what happens in the rest of the episode and how it serves as a foil for their second sexual experience together.

    Adam accompanies Natalia to one of her best friend’s engagement celebrations (played by Amy Schumer, one of my favorite comediennes). Adam isn’t quite hitting it off with her friends so he goes outside for a little fresh air and he runs into a post-ER visit Hannah. Which I must point out, when running into an ex, especially after one of you is dating someone else, you have a very few options: 1) Half-assed hug with gentle pats on the back while condescendingly saying “Everything is totally great, I hope you’re well!” while trying really hard to look like you mean it, 2) Humble brag about your new significant out of spite, then trying to love the one you’re with just a little harder to not think about how much it hurts to see the ex, 3) Ignore them completely and fake amnesia, also keep a helmet on-hand just in case this interaction occurs.

    Though I would’ve loved to see #3, Adam performs the ol’ #2. And more than that, Adam starts tweaking himself for Natalia to appear less dark and less former-alcoholic-y by… drinking? He goes back on his AA word and decided to get drunk, unleashing a “more fun” Adam for Natalia. He started socializing with her friends, he did fun dance moves but he did it all because he was upset he saw Hannah and seeing her made him push a little harder for this to work with someone else. And though we feel bad for Adam and we liked Natalia in Episode 8 because she was this little bright shining (possibly Sicilian?) light at the end of the tunnel for him, we know she isn’t right for him because she only likes him for what he’s pretending to be: A light-hearted dude with a chin beard. When in actuality, we know that he’s this dark, deep creature who finds self-worth in acting out his domination fantasies via disturbing sexual kinks.

    This episode was a perfect example of when you try to hide parts of yourself in the beginning of a new relationship to get someone to like the “surface version of you” but then what happens when you inevitably let who you really are shine through and how they react to your imperfections. I’ve (arguably) done this hundreds of times… I try to be this amazing, light-hearted, fun human being in the very beginning and then it upholds me to this standard that I can’t be because most of the time I’m stressed out about writing or money or the Beijing Olympics or I just stepped on a bobby pin that was pointy-side up on my carpet, there’s just really no telling what will set me off these days. I hate breathing air at this point. But I’d never tell someone that. For instance, I’ve started this new fun thing called social anxiety which means you hate being in big crowds of people and don’t remember how to interact with a large group of people you don’t know, which obviously moving to LA has brought that out in me which I never really saw much of before (unless I was at Gay Pride-ish events). But if I met someone I was into, I’d want to pretend like I was the life of the party. Buying shots of Patron XO for the ladies, talking March Madness (basketball?) with the men, spewing off shit about gardens with the middle-aged, I just really want to seem like nothing can get me down and I will be fun at every moment in time. When in actuality, I actually hate large crowds, I’m not too big of a fan of meeting new people in large bunches, and I hate feeling like the outsider (unless I get to be my favorite greaser – Ponyboy). But what I’m saying is, I probably wouldn’t have been in so many binds if I would’ve just shown who I actually was in the beginning because then I wouldn’t have the girl I’m dating wondering why I’m so melancholy all the time when I used to be so light and airy like Yoplait Whips!. I didn’t “used to be” so go with the flow, I was just pretending to be.

    So now after the engagement party, Adam brings Natalia back to his apartment. She doesn’t appreciate his primitive man-cave of an apartment the way Hannah did and says that his apartment doesn’t fit him because “It’s dark. Darker than you are” which we obviously know is the epitome of what Adam is. Well now (maybe because of alcohol) Adam lets his facade of a quiet, nice boy drift away and transforms back into the Beast, of which we know Adam to be (Be our guest!). In typical Adam fashion, he makes odd sexual requests, that to which she was not a fan of. Especially after he J’ed on her T’s. The thing is.. what Adam requests of Natalia is nothing new to what we’ve seen with Hannah (so it’s not weird for us in that way, it’s only weird for us because we can feel how uncomfortable Natalia is) but it’s clearly very new for Natalia. He isn’t the person that she thought he was going to be because he was hiding that dark place within himself from her, but not for long, obviously. We can assume that the first time they had sex was far and few between with how it was the second time. And we feel for Adam because we know that this is how he is and that’s kind of why Hannah loved him so much, because of all his strange kinks. We see on his face that he’s ashamed that he let who he really is shine through too early on, I FEEL FOR HIM!!!!!

    But I don’t fault Adam because that’s what you do when you’re trying to impress someone in the beginning. I met some chick last week and we hit it off right away.  Granted, she never spoke to me again. BUT IF SHE DID and texted me back or tried to talk to me ever again after we met, I would’ve been able to try to impress her and pretend like my life is awesome. I’d tell her about how much I “love to run” and I love being outdoorsy and I love my job and I play the flute and I eat a lot of kale. All lies. But I would’ve said these things in the beginning so she thinks I’m one of those people that really loves life, because that’s endearing in the beginning. Alas… she never talked to me again so I didn’t have the chance to say any of these things. But for the people that actually get to spend more than one night at a bar with someone, to you I say, be yourself in the beginning. Otherwise you’re just gonna waste a lot of time trying to be a prototype of those super positive, yoga-obsessed vegan weirdos that we don’t understand but we pretend like we respect, when you could just show that you’re a little fucked up too. It’s silly that we all do this because it’s one giant oxymoron: Fearing that someone won’t like us for who we really are and all our imperfections, when that’s kind of the goal of love in the first place.