Coolly Macabre Holiday Shopping Email from My Friend Ann
"My mom saw a dead body in Harvard Square on black Friday (outside of the Gap) . Still don’t know cause of death though I have been REGULARLY checking the Cambridge police blog (cause of death = LOW PRICES!)”
What televised-in-2009 long-bygone rerun-and-done pile of shit and sound am I going to bury my face into and cry at while eating a lot of soppressata tonight with my big dumb face in my big bed in the room with no real heat in decent lingerie for no reason?
3 Reasons why Black Friday is the Best American Holiday
Guys, full disclosj’ — I love Black Friday. This is because I love shopping, particularly with my mom, particularly at The Maine Mall, as you may have read in my chat with Logan about Why I Love Shopping by Lauren Rodrigue Age 8 on The Billfold a while ago. I’m not a get-up-at-1-am-and-hit-up-Best-Buy-for-a-cool-TV type, obviously. I’m more of a wow-50%-off-mild-mannered-sweaters-at-Gap-why-not-it’s-an-all-for-me-day. And so is my mom. On Black Friday we don’t stampede or crowd or wait in stupid lines. We careen down mallways. We flit through racks gracefully, chatting happily and excitedly like Disney birds. We languish in fitting rooms laughing and stretching out on the for-the-husbands couches, like they’re our Victorian drawing rooms, our paper shopping bags lined up like old important volumes on a shelf.
This time around, we didn’t even buy gifts for other people. Just for ourselves.
All poetic wordplay aside, the deals were, to borrow from the lingua franca of the Black Friday electronics-and-sports-store-raiding masses, Fuckin’ Holy Shit Awesome Wow. Things at Gap, for example, really were 50% off. All of the things! And at Ann Taylor LOFT, where I, fucking embarrassingly, find increasingly MORE cute things every time I go in, things were also 50% off. At J. Crew they were 30% off. At Macy’s, 20% off — my mom, delirous with joy, bought a $20 lip balm from Bobbi Brown just because. (It was not 20% off.) (It was returned promptly at sundown.)
My Big American Sale Day advice to you? 1) Go. Stop pretending to be cool and go shopping. You’re only uncool if you buy a TV on this day. 2) Care about nothing. Abandon your bills. Spend. Financial worries can wait till Small Business Saturday when there’s no goddamnwayinhell you’re gonna spend $98 on a little necklace from a little shop when you could get it at Forever 21 for $4.95. 3) Buy I guess like one gift for someone else. Maybe it’ll make you feel better, I don’t care.
How’d I do? Take a big fat look into the reality that could’ve been yours if you bucked up to Black Friday with Doris Rodrigue at the Maine Mall, New England’s Best Kept Secret for Stores thay you can Actually Find in New York but at which the Sale Sections are Actually Good and Abundant Becuase Fewer People are Fashionable in Maine than in New York (this is a fact btw).
Let me tell you a story about booties. Last fall I splurged on some lace-up black ones from TopShop that have like a 2.5-inch block heel. I wear them so much and love them so much I sometimes burst into tears and then flames when I catch a glimpse of them in a window I’m passing by. They make everything look better. They make my ankles look like stupid little toothpicks. They are practically disintegrating, so I knew I’d need a second similar pair to sub in to give them a break. These are that pair. These are the second-best booties. You know those cool girls who get on the Subway and are wearing cool roomy duffel coats and perfectly fitting jeans and slouchy sweaters and just the right sized infinity scarves? Those girls have these booties. They didn’t get them for $55 bucks on Black Friday with their Moms though now did they. Babies.
There are few things I hate more than unoriginal misogynistic web content, and fashion bloggers using the phrase “WE ARE OBSESSED WITH…” is one of them. But I am kind of pathological about LOFT’s lounge line. It’s a cool-girl in-the-know style-secret that you wouldn’t be privy to unless you followed one of the select fashion bloggers who shops with her stylish but nevertheless A MOM mom. (Hint: me.) This sweater, from that collection, is super-great quality, and, like most things from that collection, it nimbly transitions from layaround-day-coziness to workday cuteness (with the above dreamboots, a silk collared shirt, etc.). It was $60, I got it for $30, just like a prayer, it took me there.
OK technically this is a Christmas present from mom and dad, and it’s not technically mine yet, but it so so so will be in like 3 weeks and I am pretty worked up about that. The same way my mother enlightened me to the diamonds in the rough (up-top to anyone else who learned that phrase from watching Aladdin 500 times in childhood) that can be unearthed at Ann Taylor LOFT, I alerted her that for every 25 clingy lurex bodycon knit mistakes at Forever21, there is one gorgeous, endlessly wearable, surprisingly well-made piece that looks great on everyone. After this coat, she’s a believer — it’s thick, warm, substantial and the fur lining is zip-outtable for fall and spring. I’ve been buying only fussy wool lady coats for the past few years, so this casual rascal will be a nice respite and will make me look like one of those cool girls with the boots, etc.
There was way more, obv, but I don’t want you to morph into a jealous raging maniac and slaughter me. The good news for you is it’s Cyber Monday right now, so you can get a lot of the deals I mentioned above without even having to go out into public with your mom.
“At the end [of the museum tour], he felt very connected to [Anne]," says Braun, whose grandmother survived Auschwitz. "They had just showed him the pictures of movie stars in her room, and they said: ‘Maybe you would have been on that wall, Justin. She might have been a fan of yours.’ And he was touched by that.”—
Men Tell Huffington Post Which Women's Fashion Trends they Hate Most; Women Vacillate Between Being Bored and Being Like, Pissed
Shaking up the news world once again, The Huffington Post yesterday took on the gargantuan task of asking Men what things they don’t like about what Women wear. The answers were what about you’d expect — leggings are “boring,” high-waisted skirts “lack subtlety” (???) and there was a particularly passionate response to strapless bikini tops, which “make [women’s] shoulders look like a linebacker’s” and send their former admirers, no doubt, into a fit of homosexual panic — ”Am I gay?”
Also threatening: hair bows (“Dress your age!” [“Am I a pedophile?”]), high-waisted jeans (“They remind me of my mom!” [“Am I into my mom?”]), fold-over booties (“They look like foreskins!” [“AM I GAY?”]) and pantsuits (“You’re a woman. Not a man.” [“AM I A FUCKING HOMO OR WHAT?”])
So ladies, there you have it. Things you can’t wear anymore if you wish to catch the eye of any half-decent suitor during that fingers-spread-out high-fives dance at the courtship ball in Longbourn.
So what do you do if you can’t wear most varieties of tops, bottoms, jewelry, beauty products and accessories without making a dude feel gay like you look not hot?
I guess… this?
Oh and maybe like a hijab in a modest print over a tank top that has nipple cutouts.
So my birthday has officially arrived! After lots of buildup! I’m self-centered!
I got a text from my gynecologist, some lovely notes from friends, and lots of sustained spoilage from Joe. Friday is my party! It will be good. It has been much birthday. I feel 35!
As for the dress, I can’t say enough how much I loved and appreciated everyone’s input. I wanted to get the one you all wanted me to get, but alas, Lauren can turn 25 all she wants but that doesn’t mean she’s any less Lauren than she was before — and, that being so, I currently have $20 in my checking account, a few overdue bills and no fancy new dress after all.
C’est literally la vie. Whatever. You guys kinda knew I’d never spend more than $11 on a dress.
Which is why I settled on this sexy versatile $11 prostitute dress from Forever21 this weekend. I will wear it with DIY flower crown. It requires no bra. Overall, very mature and quarter-centuryish.
Joe’s big birthday surprise to me was tickets to the American Ballet Theater last night. I’d mentioned a few times here and there how I’ve always wanted to go to the ballet, and, as if he doesn’t already smell good and call me pretty, he listened, and got us great seats to a trio of vignettes. It was marvelous.
A scene from ABT’s “One Month in the Country,” or as I’d like to call it, “A Month where Everyone’s Cunty.” Set in a manse in the Russian cuntyside, the story follows the emotional collapse of the resident family’s female members when a stately tutor arrives to teach the young son and becomes entangled in a war of hysteria, jealousy and desire between unfaithful-flirty matriarch Natalia and teenage girl boarder, Vera (gasp!). Vera, girl, get off Yaz. You gotta get off Yaz right away. Everybody so cunty.
Theme and Variations was the first performance, which was great because the curtain went up and Joe and I were like “WE DON’T KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT!!” and poof it was ballet. Like straight up ballet-ballet. The ballet-est. Princes. Princesses. Little biddies dancing everywhere. Gossip. Romance. Prince spinning princess by the waist. Foot sounds. I almost cried. It was the greatest display of peplum I’d ever seen. When they finished some guy next to us said “BRAAVO” but he pronounced the first syllable in a way that rhymed with “brat” so it was so fancy and Joe and I were like “we did NOT expect that.”
Finally we saw the piano concerto, which, DELICIOUSLY, took on a modern, spacey, sci-fi theme. No skirts (-10 pts ABT) but lots of bones moving under leotards, which I found to be wonderful to watch, and three entire Black dancers, which ABT was very satisfied with themselves about, according to the opening article in the Playbill which was about how diverse the ABT is. Again, ample feet sounds. Good scurrying moments. I was so happy. I am so lucky.
Sometimes I get so caught up in hate-envying the ankle boots of fellow Brooklynites and being annoyed about subway performers almost kicking me in the head and bemoaning how my apartment’s hallways always smell like rancid rat carcasses that I forget that there are parts of New York that are so quintessentially New York and unfailingly glamorous that you can’t help but feel like Eloise at the Plaza.
Which dress did you choose??? I'm sitting on the edge of my seat here.
None yet ;’(
The World’s Most Perfect cami dress, which I posted last week, was out in my size in the color I wanted, so I vacillated over other colors, and you snooze, you lose, you know—FASHION—now all the other colors are out in my size too.
TGIF because after seeing this skurt that looks like a flannel shirt tied around your waist from you guesst it Urban Outfitters, I need like 400 drinks and pills and for an electric light fixture to explode over my head so my brain melts and I can just forget this skurt ever happened.
Like seriously Urban Outfitters you need to check yourself into some kind of School for Fucks. Because sometimes you are a fuck in like the most scholarly sense of the world you are a master of fuck.
You know how the music you listen to always depends a lot on the person you’re dating? Well, with my last boyfriend, I was really into Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall and that was very cool, but with my current one, it’s all the Steely Dan and Eric Clapton and Bill Withers my little ears can handle.
Fully embraced, after years of quiet and intermittent secret-listening.
Like 100% shameless dad rock-blasting. Like Clamato-sipping polyester-pant-wearing music. Like stay-home-and-make-dinner-that-involves-clear-Jello music. 102.9 WBLM Portland, Maine’s Rock and Roll Blimp music. Car washing music. “We could make this cool, babe, we could make it real cool, if I could sing or play anything,”-kind of stuff. Joe Cocker stuff.
"You can leave your hat on."
Crawling around on the bed laughing like little lions with the stuff playing in the background.
Is it weird that I think I found my birthday dress though? Because I really think I did find it! Well, depending on what YOU ALL think, that is. But get ready because I bet it’s not what you expect! (Read: Not a wardrobe dept. reject from the set of The Bling Ring) (Read: No leather) (Read: no cutouts)
OK so are you ready? OMG I’m nervous!!! Because like what will everyone think?!?!
When I scrolled past this cami dress on ASOS something stopped me. It was this cami dress from ASOS. Maybe it’s the model (it’s almost always the model) but I almost cannot handle how understatedly sexy and perfect this dress is. I love it in the pinkish-nude, but I had to post the black one so you could see the interesting back action.
It’s just so Calvin Klein. So Cher Horowitz. So the models on Project Runway during selection time when they have to wear those little sheet slips that don’t fit and emphasize their boniness and show you how objectified models are the how fucked up the entire fashion industry really is. I want these looks!!!
I usually go over the top. Or at least I try to. What explains this sudden attraction to simplicity? Is it my period? Is it an internal rebellion against the Halloween season, when superfluous scraps of fabric and sad goopy makeup and overall major textile mistakes flop all over the place and are completely unavoidable to stare at and squirm over on the subway? Is it the rising 25-year-old in me? Is she there already? Hello? Girl? 25-year-old self girl?
(Also and this is literally literally not THE reason but it’s A factor—it’s only $40 which rules because I’m way broker than I thought hehe) (And I have a coupon code here) (Hi I’m 12)
I want this dress. I… want this. Dress. What do YOU think?
“I sat in on an interview for a new administrative assistant once. My regional vice president was doing the hiring. A long line of mostly black and brown women applied because we were a cosmetology school. Trade schools at the margins of skilled labor in a gendered field are necessarily classed and raced. I found one candidate particularly charming. She was trying to get out of a salon because 10 hours on her feet cutting hair would average out to an hourly rate below minimum wage. A desk job with 40 set hours and medical benefits represented mobility for her. When she left my VP turned to me and said, “did you see that tank top she had on under her blouse?! OMG, you wear a silk shell, not a tank top!” Both of the women were black.”—Tressie McMillan Cottom, “The Logic of Stupid Poor People.” One of the most compelling things I’ve read in months—an assessment of what aesthetic luxuries poor people “should be allowed” to buy and why. Dressing “better” than her family’s social status should have been able to, she articulates, paved the way for many of her successes. (via The Billfold)
Not a wine person really. I inherited my mother’s propensity for wine migraines and try not to touch the stuff. Yes, I’m 57. When I do drink it, it’s only when Joe’s dad is visiting, and I go red, because I like the color it turns my mouth.
Hi good morning from me and my period i just was looking at a high school acquaintance’s wedding album on facebook and then there was a pic of the maid of honor giving a speech and then i thought of my best friend giving a speech at my wedding someday and then tears sprang into my eyes byeeeeeeeee
It’s nearly Halloween, which means all I care at all about is what costume I’m going to wear to my birthday party (I stopped believing in Halloween in 2010 when I unknowingly mixed alcohol-containing margarita mix with lots of actual alcohol and nearly alcohol poisoned my friends and I). You all had such great advice on my first dress post, I want more more more! The general consensus of Dress #1 was 1) the fabric was too stiff-looking (agreed — great for bridal showering and pretending to be in a commercial about low-hormone birth control, not great for flouncing around my apartment party in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn) and 2) you don’t like cutouts. I’ll pretend you guys never said #2.
Like do you know how insensitive that is? To say you don’t like cutouts to a girl whose whole world is cutouts?
Anyway moving on— what about this sultry spinny little number? Keep in mind, I’m turning 25 and feel so alive.
In the "Celebrate Good Times" dress from Lulu’s, we have 1) what appears to be a fun Rayon knit and 2) no cutouts, but also, haha no shoulders or like, anything haha. I like this dress so much, because like most normal young American women, a seamed bustier neckline is my fashion Achilles heel!! Also those upper-arm cuff sleeve things remind me of the golden ages of Gwen Stefani, when she used to wear bangles up there. Hey can I wear a bindi at my birthday or?
I know this dress is a little risque, but 1) slutshaming is wrong, 2) I am in a safe loving monogamous relationship [we’re going to get a dog someday] 3) the look I’m going for this year is “Is she human / or is she [erotic] dancer.”
I’m going to be 25. Which is almost 50. Which is almost when you have to start wearing rhinestone-embellished twinsets to things like your birthday. Let me have this one moment to dress like the hot teen sis in National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation.
Do you like working as a copywriter? What is it like?
I love it! And I had no idea I even wanted to do it, which is kind of the best part — very coming-of-age-flick satisfying. I always knew I wanted to write, and in college I majored in Journalism, thinking that was the best way to develop a writing skill that would sell. Hahahyarightidiot that ended up not being true, which, thank dog, because it wasn’t really my passion at all. My first job in NYC was a copywriting position at a marketing and production firm, and I used the stuff I helped create there to get into the agency I work at now.
What’s great about copywriting, for me (and definitely definitely there are lots of writers out there who would HATE this) is that it’s a really fun way to write creatively with some science and boundaries behind it. I like that I get to pretend to be different clients every day (creative! weird as fuck!), and that there’s always a prompt and a clear goal (scientific! frustrating in a good sexy way!) — whereas, if you’ve ever sat down to write a short story, you’ll know that the huge weight of idea-less-ness, self-doubt and general creative anxiety can squash you pretty quickly and make you feel like a damn pussy bitch and get you out to the mall or whatever before you’ve even written anything.
Copywriting has an ideal balance of creativity and constraint, and you also get concrete feedback from clients. This is another thing a creative writer can suffer from — without a workshop or writing group, after college, you can feel really starved for any kind of reaction to your writing, and then you might imagine yourself writing for no reason. It’s really fulfilling to find out daily that a client loved the way you spoke for them — and similarly, really fire-under-your-ass-to-do-better when you find out they hate what you did (which happens a lot).
You have to be immune to the “working for the man” aspect — I definitely am, and I don’t have breakdowns where I feel like my creative light is dimming or any of that shit. I’d love to be a novelist. I won’t be a novelist. This is my career, and the bigger The Man I work for, the more successful I’ll ultimately be — so like, bring it on Al Queda lol right guys I’m joking I don’t want to work for the agency that represents Al Queda.
This isn't a question. This is a fact. Your blog just completely made my life. I am very excited that people like you exist in the world. You will make our lives brighter. Also, thanks for introducing me to The Weeknd.
Good morning good morning and happy Free Bagel Friday from my startup to yours. Are you ready for Birthday Dress Contender #1?
Then let’s do the damn thing.
Child! Look at it! It’s the ~~Clarendon~~ Dress from Lovely’s Not Just Bridal Gowns But Stuff for Regular People Too site. Suggested by my friend, an actual future bride, as she hunted for bridesmaids dresses yesterday. (Thanks Kase!)
She was like, “Oh look at this! Well, not for my bridesmaids, obviously, but like for your birthday…” and I was like UM ACTUALLY I DON’T KNOW WHY A BRIDESMAID COULDN’T WEAR THIS HAHA I DON’T GET YOUR JOKE?
I mean sure there’s a cutout under the bust but it’s not like the cutout IS AT the bust. It’s not like there are boob cutouts here. Anyway, look at this fun flirty dress look at it!
Perfect for a 25th birthday, where I will be my own bridesmaid and possibly even wear an elaborate headpiece idk this is about dresses anyway.
I use strange metrics to measure my success as a young woman, early-career copywriter, future functional adult living in New York City. To me, how many happy hours I can afford per week, how often and by which mode of transportation I can visit home in Maine per year, and how many days per week I can afford to buy lunch rather than bringing leftovers are far more telling than, like, “my title and salary and how much people at work like me.”
That one time I ate nothing but a mish-mash of different pasta types (many almost-empty boxes, combined) topped with canned corn, olive oil and past-their-prime mushrooms for 5 meals straight? Not a good week for me. That time I paid for my drinks and a friend’s, plus a charcuterie plate, plus lent said friend a 20 because she was in need? That week I might as well have been on the cover of my own personal issue of Forbes. Laurbes, it would be called.
I’m about to celebrate my third NYC birthday in a couple weeks, and if there was any all-encompassing THIS IS WHY YOU’RE HOT (OR NOT) moment of the year for me, it’s Birthday Dress buyin’ time. Let’s get some constants out of the way real quick.
1) there will never be a time when I won’t buy or at least repurpose a birthday dress of some type
2) literally I will always be wearing a fancy dress on my birthday I mean no matter what literally never would I not
3) every year that I have a birthday I will be wearing a dress that is special
How I get that dress, or what that dress ends up being, or costing, or looking like, however, is situational. My first year in New York I worked 7 days a week with no day off for about 10 weeks straight but was still quite penniless. I re-wore an H&M number I’d gotten for a holiday party the year before. It was covered in beads, and throughout the night of my birthday, many of them fell off.
Me, birthday, 2011
Last year things were looking up. I decided to have a party at my apartment, rather than dragging people to some depressing bar somewhere, and I wore a new dress (ca-ching!!!) but it was only $20, and it was from Forever21. Somewhere between presenting my guests with home-roasted crostini and proscuitto-wrapped melon amuses, and swinging a bottle of Fernet around like I was a human tetherball post, I doused my New Dress in red wine, and had to trash it the next day.
Me, pre-party, birthday, 2012, begging people to come to come over.
Back when I was in Boston for college, I had the best birthday dress I’ve ever known. A purple fitted frock with a great big bow on the hip. Fit me like a glove. H&M, $20 — I’ve always been the same Lauren. This was back when birthdays didn’t yet gauge upward mobility or career prowess — they were just fun, sloppy, and clothed in dresses funded by my work study job and recycled prom shoes. An overall-life-happiness measurement by all means, but I didn’t know it then.
Me, birthday, 2009, Allston, MA.
Now it’s this year. My Third Birthday in NYC. I have a great new job. I make approximately $15,000 more now than I made that first November. I have only gained three, maybe four pounds total. I know the immense healing power of a very expensive and very trendy yoga class. I have “a favorite Japanese Izakya.”
This means, then, the dress has to be a big thing. Like I mean not a $500 big thing, but definitely at least $50, and extremely amazing in 100 different ways. There are kinds of self-treats that even the most fiscally responsible, no-nonsense guy I know, my dear old dad, allows me, with notable encouragement. I think the birthday dress is one of them.
So for the next few days I’m gonna post a dress or two. Won’t you help me pick out the winner? Because, like, you only turn 25 once, and next year I’ll probably be extremely wealthy and/or in space, so like, let’s make it count.
Joe and I have just emerged from our first-ever wedding season.
The big finale took place on a grassy shore of Lake Cobbosseecontee in Winthrop, ME (yes, a real place, no, not a hapless crashing of the fingers onto the keyboard). The groom and his men wore Converse, the flower girl crept down the aisle, which was also a hill, in a tutu, and the bride, a close friend of mine since we were 12, looked, as all the other brides so far have looked, so pretty and inimically happy I couldn’t emotionally control myself. At this particular ceremony, the couple set free a little white box full of sleepy butterflies — a display which would have looked beautiful had the butterflies flown up and away, but ended up looking even better than beautiful when they, still half-dormant and heavy as pennies, sunk straight down into the bride’s skirts. Shyly she admired them, and we admired her. I cried and cried.
It was a surprise to me back in August when I first cried at my first wedding, that I’d be a wedding crier.
My first wedding season has felt oddly more like New Year’s Eve has supposed to feel, or graduating college was supposed to feel, or moving to New York and living on my own-own for the first time ever was supposed to feel, than any of those events actually felt. The series has felt unexpectedly cathartic and transformative — like an equinox. More than I thought they’d be, weddings are incredibly tenuous and intimate — not to mention, they cost a lot to be a part of, and they force you to be exposed to a community of people in a totally novel way — whether they be old high school friends you haven’t seen since you were a nerdy 90-pound sack of social ineptitude, or co-workers and the scary men who own the company you work for who you’re supposed to just be totally fine with as they get wasted and dance wildly in your presence. Like most other life milestones, weddings, for attendees, are very real, and yet so very surreal at the same time.
The more you attend weddings, the more grown up you feel when you leave them. You learn how to hold your own in strange groups of uncommon conversationalists, you learn how to hold your liquor, you learn how to hold your date on the dancefloor (depending on present company). You learn how you’d like your date’s hair to look. You learn what to wear to look appropriate, you learn when’s the right time to leave, you learn to tip the bartender a lot the first time you go up, so they serve you well all night long. You learn to think about your own wedding — and to stop thinking about it promptly, because, you learn, if you think about it too much, your face might stick that way. You learn that you care more about other people’s happiness than you really thought you did, which is a comforting thing to learn.
I am happy that weddings exist, and that I’m at a time in my life when I will be invited to many every year. I am also happy that I won’t have to go to many more for at least six months, because I am sick of crying in public, sick of the dress I bought for this past spate of them, and sick of planning my own wedding when I can hardly even plan my own dinner.
As an early-career copywriter with way less income than she has expenses, I snap up paid copy assignments the same way I snack on slices of hard salami: Like popcorn. If you’re a freelance writer, you know the drill: You think of words as things. A blog post is an electric bill. A landing page is a happy hour. A sponsored article is a one-way flight home (if you book early enough).
My first new winter coat in 5+ years (SHAME) is the equivalent of four blog posts I wrote for a friend-of-a-friend’s new business venture. The posts were whatever — they were about wedding decoration trends, so, you know, the usual stuff — but the coat? The coat is… The coat is very very good.
The coat is a wonderfully dramatic thing in dusty navy wool that Zara concocted just for me, Patron Saint in Trainin’ of Shawl Collars that Look like Foreskins. Do you know how cold it gets in New York in the winter, and how often you have to walk outside to get where you’re going? A shawl collar goes a long way in this department — it warms the most important part of you, your <3, and the prettiest part of you, your protruding breastbone.
This collar! It’s like a dollop of whipped wool. I’m obsessed. I like it doubly because I can flip it over my head and hide myself from potential street rapists.
Four wedding blogs and the coat I’ve been waiting for since 2008. Next best thing to a funeral!
Special thanks goes out to my brother, Matthew, who gave me a Zara gift card at Christmas, which I freakishly hoarded (and for GOOD REASON, APPARENTLY) till I bought this coat.
“I think one of my biggest grammar “pet-peeves” is putting “quotes” around one or two words you’re not quoting anything “from.” It just immediately makes the person who’s “using them” look like an absolute “tight-assed” “coal-eating” “diamond-shitting” “pompous” douche-sipper.”—Joseph makes a good point. The best part about dating someone is they are like a second brain to yours so yours doesn’t have to bear the burden of being pissed off all the time on its own.
It is unfortunate to be a person in his or her mid-twenties living in a major metropolitan center in America today. To be a member of this sad bunch is to be reported upon by the same publications, every day, with schizophrenic vigor, about how you are not important, even though you think you are, so stop it, but also about how you are so important that your culture is now American paradigm, and you did that, and it’s annoying but also very important, but please stop.
I’ll take the long-winded buffeting from stay-at-home-dad HuffPo columnists who seem to think I had any influence over the types of encouraging posters my Kindergarten teacher hung up in our classroom back then, but I won’t take this clicktease poppycock The New York Times beep-boop-beeped out over the weekend about this skinny EMPLOYED JOURNALIST AT A MAJOR PUBLICATION who can’t escape the hawd hawd woild that is “Hipster culture” (a term he wordsmithed, no doubt, after hours of careful deliberation) which has “colonized” “virtually every aspect of male fashion and grooming.” I won’t take it, because it isn’t true.
For a long long time in the article, the scribe, Steven Kurutz (an employed journalist who writes regularly for America’s top news publication) bemoans how “hipster culture” has imbued every corner of his existence, over the course of several paragraphs, a lot, for a long time, like a person who won’t stop sneezing. You don’t have to read it, I did for you. All the ingredients are there — “I don’t have a beard or mustache, but if I did,” “Hipsters have the market cornered on vintage and irony,” hipsters like record players, hipsters live in Brooklyn, where the writer lives too (A TWIST!). There’s even a Vampire Weekend reference. It’s as if Kurutz chopped up a bunch of Times Magazines from between 2010 and this past weekend, and shook all the pieces around in a big bucket, and picked a few out, and taped them together at random, and said, “This is how Buzzfeed right?”
I may not be a person who gets paid a salary and collects benefits in exchange for writing quality, well-researched, compelling articles for America’s most renown institution of news, but I am a young lady with a bachelor’s degree who lives in Brooklyn and has a body that needs clothing to cover its flesh. As an authority, Mr. Kurutz, let me help you dress so you don’t look like a hipster — I know it’s not that hard, because there is an entire state of smaller cities surrounding New York City, and an entire country of states wrapped around that, and in those lands, where people make far less money that you might, but live a little simpler (“Paradise,” right, Mr. K?) because they don’t have to bear the enormous task of Writing for a Nation, they wear regular clothes, probably. The boys I mean.
Regular fit. Straight leg. Blue as a dish sponge. Not too blue. See how from the thigh to the calf it’s loose like that? Lee. Lee jeans. “Lee jeans.” Say it Mr. Kurutz. My dad wears these to rake the yard and to accompany my mother to Olive Garden on weekends.
"Made for walking," lol. Not cool, but still a boot nevertheless.
Now, if you’re looking for items that are a little less basic and a little bit more fashionable, you have to wear the clothing you keep talking about wearing, because that clothing is, unfortunately, what is in fashion. That is what fashion means. If the overarching themes of Western fashion continue to upset you this way, you could consider time travel, space colonization, or monkhood.
Just please, Mr. Kurutz, please don’t write a big dumb thing again. Like please don’t write about kale or anything.
There are a ton of unpaid writers out there who can cover that kind of stuff, ok?
I’ll spare you my usual opening line for posts I write about cooking (“I don’t cook well and I hate cooking and every time I cook my kitchen transforms into a swirling fiery knife-y deathtrap, BUT…) BUT I have a seriously important Get Rich Quick Tip to share with you, if you’re among the very down-to-earth subset of people who equate wealth not with money, but with abundance of perfectly prepared Brussels sprouts.
I have been Brussels sprouting all wrong all this time, it turns out. (SUrprise4!). I’ve been trying to roast them to that crispy charred just barely burnt perfection you see in restaurants and in the pages of that Wiccan spellbook, Bon Appetit, and I have been failing so so largely, so so many times (SURPRIS2AE!). Even if I roast the suckers for like, a fortnight, and even if they APPEAR to be caramel-brown and sweetly shriveled, they always turn out mushy and raw within. They are also expensive, as far as vegetables go, so it sucks to ruin them.
But after sampling an actually successful recipe (SURPSUD!) a few weeks ago (“Cooking with Boyfriend” [“Making boyfriend slice baguette, spending too much money on fancy tomatoes”]), I’ve found a reliable, no-fail, no-mush Brussels preparation that I KEEP GOING BACK TO. It’s the goddamn jackpot, if you’re among the charming minority that measures wealth by quantity of good-tasting Brussels sprouts on plate.
It’s so EZ ru ready?
1) Cut bottom root part off of sprout, discard
2) Peel leaves off of sprout, one by one (sounds tedious but is fun and relaxing, takes approx 5 minutes per bunch, takes less time than roasting for many moons)
3) Once you have the leaves of many many Brussels sprouts separated and piled in a bowl, heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a skillet on very high
4) Add leaves to hot oil, toss occasionally, cook until As Charred and Blistered as you Like (5-8 mins for me) (I like shit that tastes like coal) (I am a dark angel)
5) Remove from heat, set aside, then use to stir into pastas, stir-fries, whatever. Add them at just the last moment of cooking whatever you’re cooking. For a Brusselsy surprise.
6) Or eat them as snacks — just salt liberally like you would French fries. Place on table during dinner party. Call “amuse bouche.” Make guests feel uneasy with how much more quickly you seem to be careening into Stable Adulthood than they are. Stay humble — it’s all an act.
I want to do more things with these charred Brussels sprout leaves. I think blending them with other things into a pesto-type spread or sauce would be very nice. I think using them on sandwiches would be nice too. I think in the inevitable post-apocalyptic future when I have children, I will feed these to my children, under the guise that they are junk food.
I will be that kind of mother. I already am that kind of woman. She who Seeks Efficient Way to Cook Trendy Miniature Cabbage and then Blogs her Findings.