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The Day I Went Bald

February 20, 2012

Once upon a time, I decided to go bald. No, not on my head. The other kind of bald.

Blessed with blonde body hair and pluckable eyebrows, I have never needed to resort to waxing. I couldn’t relate when others spoke about this beauty maintenance staple. The awkwardness of baring all in the salon, the strips of scalding wax, the brief desire to murder someone post-hair ripping–it was all foreign to me. Although the inability to relate on such an agonizing experience might please most normal people, it really bothered me. I felt like I was missing out. So I scheduled a Brazilian.

I was really excited for my appointment–until the day arrived, when I had a bit of a mid-morning panic attack. What does one even wear to a waxing?, I wondered. Should I wear a dress for easy access? Is freeballing appropriate? Then I realized with horror that my eyebrows were in a state of disarray. This was a problem–based on other peoples’ tales of judgmental manicure technicians, whose harsh words (“Ooh honey, let me fix those hairy caterpillars!”) often result in the forking out of an extra twenty bucks. So I hurriedly plucked my caterpillars, determined that only one area was to get waxy that day.

On my way out the door, I popped two ibuprofen (okay, six) and considered making an OJ & vodka for the road. Then I decided that “vodka” and “for the road” don’t really go together, and especially not with my rather breakfast-less stomach.

Besides, I was too busy Googling “waxing FAQs” on my phone. Mostly I had learned all about how popular it was among soon-to-be mommies to schedule pre-birth waxes. Because, and I quote: “there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be as smooth as your soon-to-be baby’s bottom!” Yep, I’m judging.

When I arrived at the salon, I was greeted by my waxer, Marlene, who covered her mouth with a french-tipped hand. “It’s so nice to meet you,” she said in muffled tones, “but I have something to confess.” She removed her hand from her mouth, “I broke a tooth last night.” Sure enough, only one-third of her right front tooth remained. There was a jagged line where the rest of it must have snapped off, and it was mildly terrifying. “As your esthetician, I do NOT want you to think this is an aesthetic I approve of,” Marlene assured me, “I know you’re probably freaking out, and it doesn’t help that the woman about to perform your beauty treatment looks like a hillbilly.” Marlene then told me that, once she started waxing me, I was allowed to scream anything I wanted, aside from “You toothless bitch!” She then promised (no less than four times) she would get her tooth fixed soon.

Once we got into the treatment room, half-tooth Marlene was clearly in her element. “You’re going to love this. If you can get past the initial shock, it’s absolutely addicting!” Somehow I doubted that. Then she started doing her thing. “I need you to get rid of any embarrassment you have right now. I do at least thirty of these a week, so I’ve seen it all. And Valentine’s week, ohmygod, I’ve got girls in here from dusk ’til dawn. I’ll probably top two hundred that week–and the cute thing is, they allll think they’re surprising their boyfriends.” Marlene chuckled to herself, “It’s precious.”

Riiiiiiiiiippp. The first strip was the least painful, because I didn’t know it was coming. It was almost refreshing. I exclaimed (like a total dork, I might add), “Wow, I can do this!” My waxing cherry had been ruthlessly pummeled, and I was actually quite proud of myself. Except then came the anticipation…Riiiiiiiippp. As each strip-ripping became easier to anticipate, the thirty or so subsequent strips (yes, it normally takes that many) were progressively more excruciating. It took every ounce of self-control to avoid writhing around on the table in agony. By the end of it, I hated everything and everyone.

For the record, any man who expects his girlfriend to keep her tuft clean-cut, and who is not regularly getting waxed himself, deserves to have his junk tattooed with Tabasco sauce as ink.

But then it was done–finally. Why does anyone do this?!!?, I asked myself in utter anguish. I asked Marlene how long we had been in the room. “Oh, about ten minutes,” she chirped.

Before we parted ways, Marlene gave me a lecture on safe waxing. The major driving point was “no double-dipping”, which sounds way grosser in the context of pube wax (and not just plain ol’ queso). Marlene reminded me once more, “If you can get past the initial discomfort, waxing can change your life.”

So far, no major life changes have occurred. And frankly, I’m not sure if I’m willing to lighten my wallet another fifty big ones to get thatch slashed off again.


An Open Letter to the Internet

January 26, 2012

Dear Internet,

Not to be a total douchebaguette, but I think your memes are shitty.

Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy or meme or two or five. But the whole Impact-font-size-64 format is getting staler than these expired Cheetos I’m eating.

Remember the good ol’ days when only funny shit would go viral? Me neither, but that’s besides the point. These days, any Bro Schmoe with a half-decent wifi signal can generate his own meme. And that makes the Internet a very scary place. A terrible, horrible, no good, very bad place: a place where people are still LMAO-ing over “David After Dentist” and “Leave Britney Alone”, a place where 4chan and AOL still exist, a place where people are still sharing 24-month-old GIFs via emails with subject lines like “fwd: fwd: fwd: FWD: Fwd: fwd: FWD: funny!”

Internet, I propose that you upgrade your game. Or, at the very least, adopt higher standards for garnering meme-dom. Because the uber-sophisticated thought process of the average meme-maker goes something like this:

We’ve got to do something about this. Because 2006 called. It wants its memes back…so they can RIP in the cyber-graveyard with buddies like Netscape, Xanga, and the guy from “Chocolate Rain”.

Oh and while you’re at it, Mr. Internet, can we kill Reddit too? Thx! LYLAS.

Sincerely, Steph


Rejected Covergirl Commercial

January 11, 2012

In the aftermath of the messy drunk makeup tutorial parody, my sister Whitnaay decided to show off her own various eyeshadow stylings.

HOT TIP: Match your eyeshadow to your outfit. Boys love it.

The Five Types of People You See While Home for the Holidays

January 5, 2012

Running into old friends and frenemies is one of the best (and worst) things about being home for winter break. Sure, you’ll see your friends and loved ones—but you’ll also see those people you don’t bother keeping in touch with, usually for a reason. Unless you’re planning on staying cooped in your parent’s house, you have to be prepared to run into anyone at anytime. Thus, mastering the art of small talk pleasantries is crucial. If you’re home for long enough, you’ll run into all sorts of characters. Here’s a list of the five most memorable types of run-ins, that can leave you with a sense of nostalgia that borders on pain:

1. The Obnoxious Overachiever

This is the person you love to loathe. You can spot them from a mile away, most likely babbling about their 4.0 GPA and stellar grad school prospects. This is the type of person who owns an iPad—not to play Angry Birds, but to check their stocks. They will stop at nothing to lecture you on how awesome their life is going, and absolutely insist on whipping out their phone to show you pics of their supermodel girlfriend/boyfriend. You manage to nod and smile through gritted teeth. When they ask you what you’ve been up to, you manage to spit out something about your recent mission trip to Costa Rica. They seem unimpressed, and follow up by delivering a sermon about the summer they spent solving the AIDS crisis in Africa. Just as you are about to concede defeat, you remind yourself that they have a receding hairline, and then you feel better about yourself.

2. The Tragic Underachiever

This is the person with whom you no longer have anything in common. They dropped out of college after the first week and have no plans to return. You remember that they were a total riot in high school, but now they run with the weird townie crew. You happen to run into them randomly—let’s say at a gas station. You spot them from afar while filling up your car. You wave to them across the parking lot and shout their name, but they are not happy to see you. As you approach, you realize they are in the middle of some sort of drug deal transaction, which you have just called lots of unwanted attention to. Embarrassed, you get back in the car and drive off. Later, you hear that this same person works the midnight shift at Taco Bell and recently knocked up two girls, and then you feel better about yourself.

3. The One Who Got Away

This is the person who still looks damn fine. You crushed on them in high school, but nothing ever came of it. Now, years later, you can’t help but maintain a tiny little crush on them. This crush flairs up every time you bump into them. If you’re a couple drinks deep, this could be hazardous. You probably flirt too hard, even when it’s clear they’re not having any of it. You let it slip that you wish they had asked you to prom (luckily, you manage to hold your tongue about that sex dream you had about them a few months ago). Then they tell you that they have a girlfriend. You are devastated, and bitterly Facebook stalk her the next day. Her tagged photos reveal that she’s got frizzy hair and A cups, and then you feel—you guessed it—better about yourself. You continue to crush on this person for years to come…who knows, maybe they’ll be single by the time your 10-year reunion rolls around! (They won’t be.)

4. The One Who You Wish Would Get Away

This person, also known as “The Lingerer”, is all up in your grill. They are way too eager to see you, leaving you unable to tactfully remove yourself from the conversation. They eventually sense that you are trying to bail on them, and offer to buy you a drink. You hastily accept (“Jack and coke. No wait, just Jack…”), then woefully realize that you’re now locked in for another twenty minutes. Your eyes drift over this person’s shoulders while they’re rambling. You’re searching for someone—anyone—to rescue you. Finally, you escape by claiming that your friend Taylor just texted you and really needs you at that moment. Taylor is being hit on by total creeps, you tell The Lingerer, and you just have to go save Taylor or else what kind of friend would you be? The Lingerer lets you go, only to see you immediately walk in the opposite direction of where you just claimed you were heading. You now know that they know you were lying to them, and then you feel slightly shittier about yourself….but this feeling only lasts until you’ve finished the drink that they bought you.

5. The One You Hardly Recognize

This person has changed a lot since high school, especially in the looks department. They look nothing like their former self. You try to hide your shock. If they’ve taken a turn for the better, it’s a pleasant surprise. Maybe they were a total nerdbucket in grade school, but look pretty foxy these days. They’re no longer rocking head gear, their skin’s cleared up, and they walk with a little more swagger since dumping the back brace. You enjoy talking to this person; you wish them well, and mean it. You also enjoy talking to the other type of hardly-recognizable person—the former hottie who’s past their prime—but you enjoy this for different reasons. This person peaked during senior year, somewhere between homecoming and the prom afterparty. These days, the only thing that’s still peaking about them is their muffin-top (peaking out of a well-worn varsity jacket, that is). You take utter joy in the fact that this person, who once gloriously dominated the popular group, now looks ragged and frumpy. Bonus points if they are under 22, have children, and complain about the price of diapers. You wish them well, but don’t really mean it. You realize you’re kind of being an asshole, but then you remember that they once made fun of you in 7th grade gym class. So you think to yourself, “HAH, they’re not hot anymore!” and facetiously tell them you look forward to the next class reunion. And then you feel a whole lot freaking better about yourself. The end.

Let’s Make Facebook a Better Place, Part Dos

January 5, 2012

Here we go, Round 2. I cranked out resolutions #1-3 in Part Uno, and now I’ve come up with a few more that will hopefully keep you from looking like a douchelord next time you assault the news feed.

By providing these resolutions, I’m not trying to claim that I’m a guru when it comes to FB etiquette. Why, just last month I posted a status that got ZERO likes. How embarrassing! So now I’m here to ensure that this doesn’t happen to you, because I now know first-hand that it’s straight-up traumatic.

But enough about me…let’s talk about you. Some of you guys are stuck in 2004. Seriously, are you still posting DMB/Sublime/jam band lyrics as your status? Omg, there’s no hope for you bro. Sames goes for those who post about the weather. You are beyond reform. For those of you who can still be saved, here are some more resolutions to follow in the new year:

4. Pick a decent cover photo. Contrary to what you might believe, you are not ready for your close up.

This one is tricky. If you are already using the new Timeline profile, you know how excruciatingly difficult it is to choose the damn cover photo. I eventually ended up selecting a pic I took of some graffiti, which was a total cop-out, I know. But I was just so nervous that putting up a snapshot of myself would lead to my grill looking positively massive onscreen.

Don’t let this be you. Do us all a favor and learn from poor Gloria’s mistake.

The proportions of the cover photo are a bit overwhelming, which means you need to play it cool. Save the glamor shots for your actual prof pic, and opt for one that has a bit of scenery or something other than just your mug. Even if it’s a nice mug, you still have to be wary of close-ups. The immense size of the cover photo means that if you zoom in a millimeter too far, the rest of us will be able to see every last one of your nasty pore holes.

5. “Like” the right things. Because those guilty pleasures you actually like are probably unacceptable.

Remember life before the “Like” button? Me neither. Long gone are the days when you simply had to list your favorite interests, movies, and music. Nobody cares if your interests are “friends”, “beach”, “fun”, and “hangin’ out”. If you have two or more of those phrases listed under your interests, ask yourself this: is there anyone else in the whole galaxy that doesn’t also enjoy those things? Yes, we all enjoy “chilling” and “vacation”…duh. But unlike you, dipshit, we don’t specify those things because they’re already assumed to be true. Zuckerberg and his minions realized that a looong time ago, so it’s time for the rest of us to stop being such Winklevosses and play a little catch-up.

These days “likes” should be thought out a little more carefully. I mean, I like “Hot In Cleveland”, but I’m sure as shit not going to “like” it. Nah, instead I’ll probably say that I like something more sophisticated like “Breaking Bad”, even though I’m actually two seasons behind on Jesse’s meth den antics–mostly because I prefer to watch real meth addicts on TLC, the Trashy Life Choices channel. (And then afterwards I’ll watch my quietly beloved “Hot In Cleveland” with Betty White…”Get it? It’s funny because she’s SO OLD!“)

The point is this: the next time you are about to click like on the “Khloe and Kim Take New York” page, you should replace it with something far more respectable like “The Wire”, to show that you only fux with high-brow TV. Same goes for all the other categories and interests. When in doubt, resist the “Like” and make the world a better place.

6. STOP messing with the saturation feature on your photo editing software. Pale white people: this one’s for you. We know you’re pale–don’t try to fool us.

This one speaks for itself. I know you’re going for the bronzed goddess look, Miss Margaritaville. But this is what we really see:

Yes, I used my own face so nobody could get mad at me for using their photo. Yes, I look scary and radioactive. Yes, it always looks this stupid.

7. Avoid vague status updates. We all know you’re just trying to get attention.

If I have to waste even one second of my life reading your depressingly dull and vague post, you are the worst. I’m sorry, but “Wow, that was crazy!” is not a status. Neither is “Well, that sucks.” or “Here goes nothing!” No, no, no. Nobody knows what you are talking about. Nor do they care. I even had to reprimand my own sister when she posted this little nugget of wisdom:

Next time you post a vague, one-word status as idiotic as this one, remember this: for every 1 person that asks you to elaborate (“Aw, what’s wrong?”, “You OK, dude?”, “What happened?”, etc.), there are 25 other people that think your status was absolute bullshit. That’s a scientific statistic.

Alright, that’s enough out of me for one day. Now I need to go check my Facebook and see how many of my own resolutions I’m violating. Later haters.

Let’s Make Facebook a Better Place, Part Uno

January 4, 2012

I’ve decided to stop having a social life and start blogging again. You’re welcome.

So first things first: it’s the dawn of a new year, which means it’s the perfect time to reexamine our collective Facebook etiquette. Yup, 2012 is here, and everyone who’s anyone is making the switch to Timeline. Unless you’re like me, and terrified to read the rubbish you drooled out in 2005. Now, over half a decade later, it’s exhausting to keep up with all the social networking maxims. Thus, I’ve taken it upon myself to compile some basic online etiquette rules, as a sort of refresher course on How To Avoid An FB Faux Pas. (Because we all still remember that time you posted about your being unfairly blamed like an “escape goat”. Smh.) So here are some new year’s resolutions for Facebook that we should all abide by:

1. Change your underwear more often than your profile picture. You would think this goes without saying…and yet, apparently it doesn’t.

2. We don’t care how cute you think it is: no fake middle names. I’m looking at you, Taylor “T-Thang” Shook.

Everyone has one of those annoying Facebook people on their “friends” list–you know, the kind of people who coin substantive catchphrases like “LMAOOOOO :]] text ittttttt”.)

Other trying-too-hard middle names include Robbie CountryBoySwagga Monroe, Blake DaCollegeBoy Millan, Bridget Breezy Beezy, ChiddyChiddyBradBrad Williams, Courtney LovesLife<3, Mike PongChamp Jones, and Patricia TooCayoot.

3. Assume a staunch anti-duckface stance.

The duckface, for those who aren’t familiar with it, is a peculiar grimace in which one tries to be seductive but, in actuality, looks like they made kissy faces with an overripe lemon. This one is directed mostly at myself, as I am apparently incapable of making any other face after three or so drinks.


I love myself and I hate myself.

BUT NO LONGER. 2012 is the year I dump the duckface for good, strive to make somewhat normal mouth shapes in pictures, and redeem myself as a respectable non-lip-pursing member of society. Because let’s be honest: duck lips are almost as lame as holding up gang signs or posting self-taken cleavage pics. Never. Cute. Ever. (Note to friends: please remind me of this new personal anti-ducklip pledge next time I go out and get rowdy. Get mean if you have to!)

Mmkay, that concludes Part One. The second half of this post will be up tomorrow, in which I will continue to derail all the whackness trolling around my news feed. There should definitely be enough Facebook resolutions for a Part Two…I just haven’t thought of them yet. So, uh, goodnight.

Unsexy Halloween

November 4, 2011

This year I decided to treat myself to an “unsexy Halloween”. I didn’t want any fishnets, thigh-highs, or side boob—no, I wanted just the opposite actually. Something really fabulously unflattering. Basically, I wanted an outfit that would make boys run in the opposite direction, and dammit, I found it:

Yep, that’s me. You can tell it’s me because my nose is poking through the right eye’s mesh covering. I call this the “cute bladder infection” pose. (My friend Will took this photo…by the way, you should check out his stuff because his photography is nasty. Like in the good way.)

To be honest, it was an incredibly liberating costume, especially for a large dance party. I felt like a ninja—a large, goofy ninja, covered in yards upon yards of green polyester blend. I could sprint around like an imbecile and holler and get all up in peoples’ faces, with (almost) total anonymity! I could never do that in my previous costumes (Sexy French maid, Sexy Little Red Riding Hood, Sexy Angel…Okay, you get the idea: clichéd and awful).

I think my “unsexy Halloween” initiative started last year when I wrote an article about chauvinistic feminism and then I forced myself to retract some of those ideas in a follow-up  article about slut-shaming. Both articles are problematic (although I maintain that the articles’ 700-word limit strongly contributed to that), but they nevertheless still got me thinking about the potential benefits of skipping the traditional sexy H-ween garb:

PROS of Gumby GetupYou can bend over without flashing someone. You don’t have to worry about looking even remotely attractive. Your non-ability to dance becomes irrelevant, because strangers can’t see your face. It is comfy and vaguely reminiscent of a Snuggie. That drunk girl in the lingerie (oh wait that’s her costume) keeps saying how HA-LAYER-EE-US you are. You commend yourself because you can wear a costume that doesn’t have “Sexy” in the title, but then realize that drunk girl was mistaking you for a dude. Bystanders are generally delighted and amused when they see a life-size Gumby—you know, except when they’re not (see Cons).

CONS of Gumby GetupBystanders generally assume you’re just a weird, creepy guy looking to lure a chick into your strange little suit, and don’t want to dance with you until you assure them of your true, harmless identity. All your girlfriends look really hot in the subsequent Facebook album….You don’t. You look like a freak. Peeing is an ordeal. Your skin gets a light coating of green fuzz. It is hot and sweaty. No, I mean like really freakin’ scorching. You will sweat your face off.

All in all, it was kind of a draw. Next year I’ll probably just go back to something that calls for a miniskirt and boobs.