Monday, December 19, 2011

Stop that; the guys don't like it.

Recently, I "stumbled-upon" an advice column telling women what they should or should not wear. As someone  who always has one, opinions on what styles should get chucked do not bother me. This particular list featured hair extensions, bright-colored lipsticks, and too much make-up.

This is like any other issue of Cosmo or Allure, telling us women what we need to know. Now, my beef isn't with the media portraying women as airbrushed, supernatural beings (not today, anyway) -- it's actually quite the opposite. The articles have seemed to shift focus -- now bloggers are telling us, "Hey you! It's okay you don't look like a model... guys actually want realistic women!"

And that's where the problem comes in... How many times (girls) have you read about how you should not wear too much make-up because guys don't like that? Or how about how guys love curves? Don't forget to leave your hair extensions at home, because when you are with a guy, they might run their fingers through your hair and rip one out.

Give me a break. Has anyone noticed that by telling us we can be ourselves, we are still reinforcing that with "because the guys will like you anyway!" Why? Why can't we do things for ourselves?

I love Sephora; it's my guilty pleasure. Something about looking around at expensive make-up puts stars in my eyes. Not only do I love looking at it, I love buying it. Don't give me that nude-colored eye-shadow either. I like creating smoky dark eyes and spending an hour on my make-up before I go out. Here's the real shocker: I like doing this because I think it's fun. Not because guys may think I'm hot -- I'm told they don't like a lot of make-up anyway.

Aside from my Sephora addiction, I like running (when I can find the time). I do care about my figure to a certain extent. Again, it's not because I'm trying to attract males. I do it because I like to feel good about myself, and that's one of the ways I achieve that.

Ladies, let's get with it. Everything we do doesn't have to be about the guys we're going to attract. My feminist side screams at every article telling me to do or not do something simply based on what the opposite sex might think. I'm not saying I don't ever think about it, but why is our culture so obsessed with it?

Perspective: guys aren't engrossed in magazines and websites instructing them not to wear socks with sandals because 1) they know we'll like them anyway and 2) if we don't we're probably too high maintenance for them. We should learn from them (just this once...)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sandusky is a monster, not a joke

Lately, I've been overhearing people use the phrase, "Watch out, or you'll get Sanduskied" or "They'll give you the old Sandusky."

Too soon? It could be 1000 years from now and it would still be too soon. That's just sick. Too many lives have been ruined by this mess, and I'm all for comic relief, but I can find none in this situation.

The sad thing is, there's a good chance this could unfortunately catch on to describe child abuse. Anyone ever hear the phrase 'going postal'? Yeah, that come from somewhere.

Having a direct experience with Penn State and the earthquake that hit it this past month, I will never think that Sandusky should be used as any phrase but to describe a monster. People need to grow up. Children were sexually assaulted and traumatized for life.

So this is your warning: DO NOT SAY THIS AROUND ME. There is no saying what kind of monster I could turn into...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Wasn't life grand when...

The new Disney channel movie coming out on Friday would be the highlight of your week.

Littering would lead to crying Indians, and no one wanted that.

Are You Afraid of the Dark was the scariest TV show. Ever.

Summer meant swimming all day every day.

Being on drugs meant your brain was the equivalent to an egg in a frying pan.

TRL was a priority, and you couldn't wait to see the new NSYNC video they were releasing next week.

Grandma and Grandpa's house was a magical place with candy and people like parents, only better.

School dances were the equivalent to the MTV movie awards.

Snow days meant just that = playing in the snow.

Friends was a TV show you weren't allowed to watch.

Pool parties were "the bomb" - who cared what your hair looked like afterwards?

Babies came from the stork (at least that what they told us, we didn't care enough to look for the real answers)

Getting drunk was for those gross people in public service announcements

You could buy CDs with one track on them, called "singles".

Broken hearts were what they sang about in those stupid love songs

"You Got Mail" was like the sound of singing doves.

Away messages were essential, and if a sibling signed you out before you got to check your messages it was war.

Milk money meant $0.30.

Walking to school was a privilege

Ferbies were still cool, not creepy

TV Land meant ancient shows your parents watched, not TV shows from your childhood.

McDonald's was awesome, especially the playing in the jungle gym afterwards.

Lizzy McGuire meant don't bother me for the next half hour.

HitCLIPS was the latest technology, because listening to 30 seconds of a song was so much better than listening to the whole thing (wasting 3 minutes on a song was so overrated!).

Christmas shopping meant visiting your schools cafeteria to buy presents for your parents with the money they gave you.

Milk came in pouches, and the most frustrating part of the day was sticking a straw in the damn thing.

TGIF was awesome, even though you weren't allowed to stay up for the last show at 9:30.

The most badass thing you did was chew gum in class -- and by chewing, I mean sticking it to the top of your mouth and praying to the dear Lord above you didn't get caught.

You could carry a pet in your pocket, and if they died there was no need to worry -- a reset button was safely on the back of your "Tamagotchi"

Having a beeper was so cool -- never mind not being able to find a phone after you got a page

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

"Sanctity of Marriage" Given Second Thought

Whether you've experienced divorce firsthand, or not, you know what it is. It is that life-changing thing that happens when there are "reconcilable differences" in a marriage. Divorce isn't a quick, clean break. Everyone who has been around it knows it is a process. There may be fighting, one person may fall out of love, and after the break happens, there is a whole load of legal crap to deal with.

But what if that process didn't happen? What if one day, after years of a happy marriage, your partner brings you to the courthouse, calmly sits you down, and the paper for you to sign is placed in front of you? Sounds crazy, right? Yeah, I thought so, too.

What's really crazy, though, is it really happened. Even more crazy, the couple is still happily together, living life the way they always did. The blog post, which I found through Psychology Today, can be found here.

It turns out, the wife wanted to divorce to prove a point about the sanctity of marriage. A legal documentation of your marriage cannot change the way you feel about each other. She wanted to prove that without that legal documentation, her relationship would be just as strong. She did it to show the world how caught up we've become in the legal rules of marriage.

To me, she's right. "My babe" however, listened carefully before saying, "That's a fun idea and all, but no." Haha, got to admire Dan's honestly.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

It Gets Better... (a story about bullying)

This may be the hardest blog entry for me to write, but I want to share my story in hopes that it may help people get through hard times... such as this kid:

He inspired me to get my story out, because maybe if I do, I can potentially save a person's life that gets bullied everyday (like I used to...). He was so brave for posting that.

So here it goes.

I've gotten bullied many times in my life -- I think it has to do with my unique nature and gutsy-ness... because I've never been afraid to try new hair-dos and crazy outfits. Which to me, is a good thing -- but I didn't know that then.

In middle school I cut my hair really short. I wanted it short and spiky, like I saw on some TV shows. I was the only person in 7th grade with that haircut, so it's safe to say I was different. Within days my new nickname became "Man-ica" because people claimed I looked like a man. I spend days crying at lunch because it seemed like everyone was calling me that. To this day, even though I still like having short hair, I get worried about whether or not my hair or clothes make me look like a boy. Which is stupid because I know they don't.

Also around 6th or 7th grade a group of girls decided they didn't like me. I got an e-mail sent to me from one of the "popular girls" I never talked to before, telling me everyone hates me and I should just die. People would create fake nicknames on AIM and IM me saying the meanest things. One day I ran up to my room and my dad saw the e-mail and told me I can't let those girls bother me. Everyone who has ever been bullied knows it's not that easy.

But that's nothing compared to what happened in high school.

In high school I thought I had it all. I had nice clothes, something to do every Friday night, and I was dating someone "popular." I've always had insecurity with the "popular" people because I never thought they liked me (like I said, they had bullied me before...) but what I really should have been thinking about is the fact that I didn't like them. But nobody thinks that way in high school.

It all started senior year... My boyfriend and I broke up. I was devastated. I loved him and I thought he was my life -- but that's just the beginning. For some reason, instead of a normal break-up where you get upset and eventually move on, his friends ate up every chance to make me feel worse. I'm guessing my insecurity over them not liking me had merit after all.

My ex-boyfriend started dating a new girl within days of us breaking up -- making my heartbreak worse. Everyday I'd get to school and a different one of his friends would come up to me and say "Hey, did you see Tom & Jackie* (names are changed) together today?" "Oh Monica, it must be terrible to see them together (sarcastically)" or in most cases, just "Jackie" in this drawn out, malicious way.

Even some teacher chimed in, laughing, "Monica, I heard since you and Tom broke up all you've done is sit home and cry every night." (This incident resulted in a visit from my mom to the principal since she worked at the school.)

Things got worse.

One class, one of Tom's friends knocked my books on the floor and said, "Monica, you dropped something." Everything I said in class that day he'd turn around, ask me pointed questions and make random comments. My teacher seemed to notice, but nothing was done.

I cried to my mom after class, but I begged her not to do anything -- it would only make things worse. Out of the goodness of her heart (who likes to see their daughter in pain?) she paid another visit to the principal. I even went so far as to go to my principal and beg her not to say anything to the boys -- but as she watched me cry frantically, she said no. She also gave me the kind advice that there would be plenty of other guys better than Tom in my life and I had to realize how great of a person I was. That stuck with me forever.

Anywho, the boy in my class got called down to the office along with my ex-boyfriend. They both were threatened with getting kicked off of their extracurricular activities if they bothered me again.

For the next few weeks I was taunted with lines such as, "Hey Monica... oh wait, I better not talk to you or I'll get kicked off the team." Only, it wasn't just from that kid, it was from what seemed like EVERYONE. Even people that never played a sport in their life.

One by one, I started to lose friends. Close girlfriends were calling me a b**** behind my back. One boy  took me to a basketball game, where we were both taunted throughout the whole thing. When he dropped me off that night, he told me how he didn't know how I dealt with it every day, but he just wasn't strong enough to deal with it, too. We didn't hang out after that.

One day, I wore a sweater Tom gave me. He said it was lying around his house and I could have it since they didn't know whose it was. I'd worn it many times because I liked it. But that day, Tom decided to tell the school I stole clothes from his house and told everyone it was his brother's friends sweater. It probably was, but I didn't know that and I didn't steal it. I decided to get even and wear the sweater every day for the rest of the week.

By the end of the week, people were mad. One kid got up in front of the whole cafeteria and started talking about how much of a scumbag I was for stealing clothes and wearing the same clothes everyday. By the end of his speech, the cafeteria filled with loud "OOHHHHs" from many, and almost everyone was looking at me. I turned around to see the popular girls flipping me off. I wanted to cry, die, sink into the earth and never return. But I just waved and like Princess Di would. Because when you're in that situation, what do you do?

The rest of the year was filled with similar events, but I won't continue on... you got the gist. It's hard for me to write this now -- four years later. Many people know my story and many people don't.

For a while, I wanted to die. I thought that if I did die, it would teach those kids a lesson. I bitterly thought that they'd have to live with that for the rest of their lives, and at the time I thought that was important. More important than my life. I called friends crying hysterically at night. I had panic attacks.

I've struggled with the incident for a while. I went into college thinking there was something wrong with me and no one would like me. I developed extreme anxiety. I hated myself.

But as time goes on, I've learned to cope with things. Nothing is wrong with me, something was wrong with them. It's still painful to think about, but it DOES GET BETTER. This is something I want people to know -- especially teens going through this right now. It is not worth taking your life over. Everyone is beautiful, perfect, and has awesome qualities to contribute to the world. Bullies are bullies. But they can't take away the great things you have to offer.

I have a great life now. I have great friends, my college years were successful, and overall I finally understand that nothing is -- or ever was -- wrong with me. I'm happy with who I am and the bullying at first made me weak, then made me stronger.

If you are getting bullied, please know that things will get better. I promise. Reach out to talk to me anytime @

**If you know someone going through this, please share my story with them. I want my experience with bullying to help another person through theirs. By doing this, it makes me feel like the hard time I went through was worth something.

P.S. Since there's been speculation of the facts of my story, I want to say that everything I write is true. I have people to attest to it. But if you don't believe me, that's okay...because I wrote this to help others, and to help the fight against bullying.

Truths for Mature Humans...

I got a chuckle. :)