Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I'm Not A Feminist But...

I had to title this post with a disclaimer because as I learned in a social justice ethics class that was mandatory at my liberal arts school (I know, vom) people often begin statements that are profoundly racist with "I'm not a racist but..." and this is the same type of thing. My post is going to sound very feminist. Honestly, it's a bit of a rant. If you know me then you understand I am the furthest thing from a feminist (I voted for Romney, okay?). I wrote this post to call attention to the lies that the media tells girls, or more accurately, my opinions on the lies that the media tells girls. I ramble, I rant, but I try to include humor as I explain that he's just not that into you.

Film and television make it seem as if boys and girls can never be just friends. Someone always has to be in love with the other. On sitcoms there's years of sexual tension before the lead characters end up together forever. Even on Lifetime, which is supposed to be TV for women, the movies feature best friends who awkwardly fall in love. Whose lifetime is that? Cause in my life, I just awkwardly fall. No love.

My best friend is a guy and I am constantly getting asked why I friend zoned him or why he doesn't date me. My family is the worst. My little brother recently said to my best friend "I think y'all are perfect for each other. I'm sorry if that hurts your feelings." Ouch, thanks for that.

And is it not insulting to guys the way people assume that you can't value a female for just her friendship? I admittedly do not place the highest confidence in the morals of the men my age, and perhaps this is conceited of me, but I think there are lots of reasons to be friends with me. I mean sure, I can't think of any right now but I can assure you that my looks are the last reason any guy would want to be my friend (maybe next to last, right before my inability to filter).

Anyways, my big issue with the opposite-sex BFF conspiracy is that it results in girls telling themselves that the guys we have been pining after for years to no avail are "secretly" in love with us. No. Just no. This leads to girls overthinking every move a guy makes. If he ignores us in public he's playing hard to get, if he doesn't return our phone calls he doesn't want to seem too available. Ladies! These are our mind games! We can't just let the other team steal our playbook!

No matter how much I try to be honest and tell myself that if a guy doesn't text me back he probably just forgot my hut number or got eaten by a lion, in reality, he's probably just not that into me (although, I know, all three are equally unbelievable). Call me old-fashioned, but I believe that if a guy is interested in me, it will be obvious at best but at the very least discernible after a month of careful observation.

So now young women and girls are wasting their time and efforts on guys who they believe are secretly in love with them. I understand. It's so much easier to form a relationship from a friendship and skip all the awkward parts of being with someone new. But where would Twitter and Buzzfeed and Tumblr be without those awkward moments? Those awkward moments help me get out of bed every morning because while I might be single for the rest of my life, there's a girl somewhere out there meeting her boyfriend's parents for the first time. Who knows what calamity might strike? She could be hungover. She might accidentally stain the white couch with red lipstick that his mother thinks is trashy. And who among us doesn't love a simple trip in the front yard or beverage spill? I'm not saying that I would wish these on anyone, just that I hope to read stories very similar to these in next month's Cosmo Confessions. Where would White Girl Wednesday be if I couldn't share the trauma of all my first dates? Probably exactly where it is today seeing as I never get dates, but it could really be improved with some first-hand embarrassment stories!

While I'm at it, let's take a moment to discuss what I'll call "selfie shaming". Girlfriends, if you wanna post a selfie you post a selfie. There are some strong points to be made for not posting a selfie every day, but I hate seeing girls caption "sorry for the selfie" because you shouldn't have to apologize. You own that selfie. If you're anything like me (aka not photogenic at all) I know how much work went into taking a good selfie. I also know that a good selfie for me happens about once every 6 months. 2 selfies a year never got anyone's Instagram reported for spam so #YGG.

You Go Girl. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Some1 Date Me Pls

Today's post is about a topic that I believe we all spend more time contemplating than we'd like to admit...how am I still single? And I don't mean that in the literal sense of why will no one date me because believe me, I understand that 100%. I mean why have I not yet devised a strategy for tricking someone into dating me? The way I see it, if I am going to make my July 4, 2015 wedding happen (and I have a few dozen non-returnable USA-themed decorations that say it's gonna happen) then trickery and deception will be key.

I realized that I would need a solid plan in place in order to find a groom a few months ago while I was watching How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days. I was somewhere in the middle of calculating how much money I could make writing and starring in a sequel, How To Lose A Guy in 24 Hours or Less, when I became angry that How To FIND A Guy in 10 Days did not exist. It's crunch time and I'm feeling the pressure. I haven't managed to find a guy in 21 years, so what makes me think I can find a husband in less than 365 days? My initial thought was to draw up an application, but somewhere between question 37 (favorite Law and Order: SVU ADA) and question 82 (Do you like Katherine Heigl, no or heck no?) I realized that in order for my application process to work, the male population had to have an interest in spending time with me.

So I did what any other certifiably insane young adult with a special penchant for self-deprecating humor would do. I googled "How to get a date". After a few, I'll just say interesting, articles, I came across some of the same ridiculous suggestions that my mother has been giving me for years (don't call everyone dude, stop wearing your brother's clothes, make eye contact, and nonsense like that).  Needless to say, I quickly realized I would have to do this alone.

I conjured up a few really good ways to meet men. My personal favorite was drive around in a nice neighborhood and wait until you get behind an attractive male in a nice car. Then ever so slightly rear-end him at a stoplight. You will have to exchange phone numbers and he will have to agree to seeing you again in the future, the 2 steps that have always eluded me in the past. My friends somehow managed to talk me out of this method before I could finish planning it out.

Without misdemeanor traffic violations to fall back on, I rounded up some of my favorite pick up lines, at least 50% of which were Harry Potter themed. I had grown really attached to Do I know you? Cause you look a lot like my next boyfriend. and I lost my phone number, can I have yours? when a good friend pointed out that in order for these lines to have a chance to work, I would have to say them. To boys. Out loud. Where they can hear me.

Actual human to human interaction never was my strong suit, so it's back to the plotting board. I try to stay strong and tell myself that if Vladimir Putin and Tom Cruise could both convince someone to marry them, I can't be too far behind. But in the meantime, if you or a loved one has recently been dumped, give me a call. It is my sincerest hope that someday soon, young singles will find inspiration in my success story, telling themselves, if that nutcase found love, so can I.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Here Comes the Bridesmaid

My cousin and best friend is getting married. Sigh. My current relationship status is "I'm so single it's pathetic" so I have no time for couples currently living happily ever after but congratulations or whatever I guess. Honestly, I'm super excited for them and being the great bridesmaid that I am, I have been constantly contributing time and ideas to this wedding. Even though I have had less than 9 months, I have selflessly put aside my own need to find a date to help plan the wedding. And I must say, I have done a great job. I recently came up with the wedding hashtag and I was in the middle of pitching green and gold bridesmaid jewelry to give our plum dresses a Mardi Gras theme when I realized that I have supplied a lot of outstanding suggestions for this wedding that were ill-received. Which is totally unfair because they were all really great proposals. Luckily for, well everyone, I have kept a record of all of my brilliant propositions should the bridezilla change her mind.

My Bridesmaid Dress
white
cut outs
prom dress
rhinestones
spray tan, manicure and pedicure all courtesy of the bride
a train
leopard print
tiara
veil
scandalous slit
bridesmaid portraits for moi shot on location at a beach of my choosing

Bachelorette Party
a museum of my choosing
Pizza Hut
matching tattoos
a baseball game so I can scout potential husbands

Bridal Jewelry
1 word. feathers.
anything that lights up
one of those awesome chokers from the 90s
BFF bracelets for the bride and myself
a locket with pictures of me inside

Ceremony
me singing a song of my choosing  
a separate section for my guests
a personal thank you to me in the program, 350 words or more
keep the ceremony to like 5 minutes, tops
shout out to me in the vows

Reception
first dance to Grind on Me
first dance to I Hate Everything About You
my toast:
     Roses are red
     True love is rare
     Booty booty booty
     Rockin everywhere
brownie batter shots
lemon wedding cake, even though I'm the only one who likes lemon
a section where I can receive guests and well-wishers
I would like to have dibs on all leftover bread

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Good Lord Taketh Away

This week the unthinkable happened. I'm talking every white girl's worst nightmare. Worse than accidentally wearing two clashing Lilly prints in the same outfit. Worse than your parents getting you silver Jack Rogers when you wanted gold. Worse than your boyfriend NOT getting you a Michael Kors watch for your one month anniversary.

My iPhone broke. My very first iPhone, nay, my very first smart phone. Heck, it was the first cellular device I'd ever owned capable of sending or receiving pictures.

*moment of silence*

Now I wasn't always the picture of grace and dignity when dealing with this unforeseen tragedy. At first I totally freaked out, worried that those around me may have to suffer not knowing the time whilst my iClock was compromised. But I've made it past the first 72 hours (which I had to confirm with an analog clock, how 20th century). I've been living sans phone and I am a survivor.

After confirming that my friends could take time away from their feverish answering of text messages to check the time of day without me (cough cough Amanda), I soon realized that outside of the one person I absolutely must talk to every single day, no one else really cared about me, which in my current state is both a relief and a smack in the face. So I took to communicating via email and began seeing the anachronistic communication as a quirk, making me somewhat of an Austen heroine.

As it became more and more apparent that my beloved iPhone could not be revived, suddenly, the seemingly neverending burdens of the bourgeoisie were exposed for what they really were. Glorified first world problems.

You have no service?
No one is texting you back?
No one liked your Instagram picture? (see July 9th post)

I remember back when I too was vexed by such trivial matters. All in the past. I could do this whole no phone thing, I thought haughtily. I spent the first iPhone-less evening with a smug smirk on my face (while never straying further than 3 feet away from my laptop). I don't need modern technology. I'm enlightened. My own woman.

Or at least I was until a dark moment when my father suggested I get a droid. In my mind I promptly told him that this was egregious, a white girl without an iPhone is like eating a toaster strudel with no icing. Completely wrong. Laughable really. In reality, my new and improved, enlightened self politely said "Please Daddy no, anything but that. I promise I'll stop calling you cute if you don't make me get a droid" (he thinks it's condescending that I find him adorable).

The worst part of this whole ordeal was that in the first 24 hours of this vacation, while my phone was still working, I suffered from a complete and utter lack of text messages (you know who you are). About an hour before my phone broke my friends all suddenly remembered I existed at the same time (I'm on to you guys). Had I been at home when my phone bit it, I would have been 10 minutes from an Apple store. But here on the coast of NC, the nearest Apple store is in another state. Believe me, the irony of my situation was not lost.

Being bereft of my iPhone also meant I was allowed a much-needed absence from social media. It was unexpectedly pleasant to not have to check my Instagram account every day to find that no one else was interested in following me or liking my pictures (gasp). Not seeing a flash of orange in the bottom right of the screen gets old after awhile, it's true. I no longer had to open snapchat and view countless my stories just because my OCD won't let me leave them unopened. I didn't have to take my phone down to the seaside to capture white girl vacay shots of me and the beach. That one wasn't just beneficial to me though, breaking my phone saved hundreds from seeing me in a bikini. You're welcome.

In conclusion, this week has changed me. After my phone broke, I lost internet access and also suffered the loss of my favorite beach chair and favorite pair of black flip flops. This week was full of heartache. While I wouldn't wish this tragedy on anyone, this break from my iPhone has made me realize there are more important things in life. I can't think of any at this moment but I am pretty confident that they are out there.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

An Open Letter of Apology

Before this week's actual post I should probably apologize to all the readers who read the title and thought this post would be an apology for the numerous offensive/rude/true things I have said over the past year. No such luck. So sorry that I'm not sorry.

*clears throat*


Dear Raleigh, Parts of Durham, and Even a Little Bit Chapel Hill-

I would like to extend my sincerest apologies for driving your streets earlier today. I am the reason women shouldn't drive.

I want to first offer some explanation, because as is often the case with women drivers, cheating husbands, and Ted Kennedy, I refuse to take full responsibility for my actions. It's really not all my fault. My GPS is partially to blame, it's true. A faulty navigation system transforms my driving from 16-year-old girl who is trying to play it cool even though she swears she just saw Justin Bieber to Helen Keller in a very bumpy 3.5 seconds or less.

Now that we can all agree that my performance today was significantly hindered by forces beyond my control, I will begin my apology.

I'm sorry for changing lanes as if I were playing Mario Kart.

I'm sorry for accidentally going 50 on the highway for a few minutes. Beyonce was on. I was singing and dancing, These things happen.

I'm sorry for pretending I couldn't read numerous DO NOT ENTER signs.

I'm sorry for barely pausing at that one STOP sign.

I'm sorry for all the times (by my count, 8) I changed lanes only to immediately return to my original lane once I realized the right lane was exit only.

I'm sorry for taking the wrong turn because I had no idea where I was.

I'm sorry for consequently taking up the entire parking lot of the completely unsketchy Cash for Gold Jewelry to do my fifth U-turn of the day.

I'm sorry for going through the parking lot of 2 gas stations and a Wendy's to get to Bojangles. (But I'm not that sorry cause it was Bo Time.)

And last but not least, I'm sorry to the construction workers who have grown accustomed to seeing me drive up and down Columbia at least thrice a day. I'm sure you're all thinking that I need to get my life together. And you are indeed correct, sirs. Thank you for telling me to drive safe and have a nice day today when you probably wanted to say choose another route idiot we've been here for weeks.

-Rachel

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

#StopPatrick2014

My little brother got an Instagram this week. Dramatic sigh.

Let me preface this post by explaining that I have been telling my brother to get an Instagram for like a year. He told me that Instagram was Twitter for people who can't read. He said he would never follow me and never like my posts. Look how the tides have turned.

Let me give you the stats.

Posts: 32
Stupid Posts: 30 (I was in 2 of them)
Followers: 51
Following: 83
Most Liked Pic: 6 likes on a selfie of us

Here are the top 10 reasons why my brother must be stopped. And yes, it was difficult to narrow it down to a mere 10. In no particular order:

1. The vast majority of his posts are the product of this simple equation guaranteed to result in, well, complete indifference from followers. Google image search of NBA/NFL players + some app with artsy filters. I have tried to explain to him that no one cares about the most of the pictures he wants to post and he should run them all by me first. I thought he got the message. Until...

2. Today he posted more than a dozen pictures from the museum we visited.

3. In 10 minutes.

4. All of his pictures from the museum today had a caption that ended in #1 - #10. This is mainly annoying because he forgot to number one of the museum pics and later deleted one. Someone casually scrolling through his Instagram may think at first "only 10 pictures in 10 minutes, he won't be so bad" but in reality it was 12 pictures in 10 minutes and by following him they are in for a world of hurt.

5. Like all Instagram-addicted youth in America today, he has a selfie problem.

6. I think almost worse than his selfies are the captions he gives his selfies. These captions are always a sentence or two about what he is doing or how he feels. In his defense, there is no good way caption a selfie. But "Just got home from practice. About to eat." is barely an improvement on the basic white girl random quote about life that has nothing to do with me selfie caption.

7. He has his snapchat user name in his bio. Stahp.

8. He took a selfie to set as his profile pic right as he was making his Instagram. I don't know why this bothered me so much but he should cease and desist nonetheless.

9. He won't follow UNC Dance Marathon.

10. Last but certainly not least among his offenses to the Instagram community, when he posts selfies, he gets on Instagram, goes to the camera feature and takes a selfie right then and there to upload. The arrogance! I have to take at least 10 selfies before I find one I feel comfortable enough with that I would allow another human being to see it. I get that this is more about my insecurities than his cockiness, but still. Have some respect for the photogenically challenged.


Please feel free to go follow/stalk @cpdaniel20 to see for yourselves. He is outta control. And please, tweet #StopPatrick2014 to save a life.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Reasons I Swipe Left On Tinder

A few weeks ago my friend Chelsea introduced me to the world of Tinder, dating application extraordinaire. For those of you unfamiliar with dating apps, allow me to explain. Once you create an account through Facebook (it's virtually Catfish-proof) and log your preferences, Tinder shows you the profiles that meet your criteria. Profiles include first name, age, photos and a short biography, along with showing if you and the other user have shared Facebook friends or interests. You swipe left on photos you are not interested in and swipe right if you are interested. If someone you swiped right for also swipes right for you, you are both notified and free to contact each other through the app.

Now at first, I had no idea what I was doing. But after accidentally liking a dozen or so guys, I have finally figured out what to look for in a profile. Or more specifically, what not to look for in a profile. Here are the buzzwords and bio hazards (see what I did there?) that make me swipe left, along with suggested replacements.


Outdoors
Yeah, we're just not going to get along. I refer to any dining experience that takes place outside as camping. I'm much more Jasmine than Pocahontas. As an aspiring trophy wife, I belong strictly indoors.
Suggestion: Proud owner of a 50" plasma TV.

Crossfit
Nope. I mean don't get me wrong, I'm in shape. That shape just happens to be round. When I see the word Crossfit in a Tinder bio I imagine the scene in Crazy, Stupid, Love where Emma Stone tells Ryan Gosling she's not gonna take her shirt off after seeing his immaculate abdominals.
See also: Fitness.
Suggestion: Serving size of pizza = 1 pizza.

Atheist/Agnostic 
Yeah we won't be going out.
Suggestion: I love Jesus, followed by a Bible verse.

Craft Beer
I don't drink. Like at all. So when anyone who mentions alcohol in their bio or has pics of them drinking, I am a bit wary. But craft beer crosses some hypothetical line in my book, and appears to be the exclusive alcohol of bearded men. I don't even think I know what craft beer means but when I read it what I see is "I'm a hipster."
Suggestion: McDonald's. Bojangles.

Left-handed
Okay I can see how this might constitute me being too picky. In my defense, I've only actually swiped left on one person because of this. But why would you put that in your bio? Like you're proud of it? All I know is that if we go to a wedding together and you get seated to my right, we're gonna be bumping elbows all night. Eventually you will impede my ability to eat wedding cake and if that doesn't kill the romance I don't know what does.
Suggestion: I love Harry Potter. I know it's completely unrelated but it's something I want to know.

Camo 
Not my style, probably never going to be my style. Seeing an abundance of camo in a profile makes me fear that our future would hold the kind of rustic, country weddings all over Pinterest right now. And for that reason, I can't.
Suggestion: Baseball uniform. Even if it's not yours, it'll get your foot in the door. 

Sunglasses + Hat = Hard Left Swipe 
I probably wouldn't give this a second thought until Chelsea pointed out how sketch mcsketch it is to have only photos of yourself where 60% of your head is covered. What are you trying to hide? I don't know and I am not willing to find out.
Suggestion: Try a photo where I can actually see your face and tell which one you are.

Animals
I'm not an animal person. I won't swipe left if you have one picture with a dog. If you have a picture that indicates you own a snake, rat, lizard or spider as a pet I am swiping left. If you have pictures of your mouth making contact with a dog, it's a no from me.
Suggestion: American flags. 

Babies
If you have more than one picture of yourself with an infant or small child and no disclaimer to the tune of "that's my niece" I have no choice but to assume that you are a parent. No judgment, but my mother is too young and hot to be a step-grandma.
Suggestion: A picture of you holding up a piece of paper that reads "while childless at the moment, I hope to someday have 4-7 children" and I will be swiping right. 

Height
For some reason guys are always posting their heights in their bios on Tinder. If they are gonna put it out there, I'm gonna use it as a factor in making my decision. So if you're 5'3", I'm just gonna save us both some time and trouble.
Suggestion: If you must include a shallow statistic in your bio, try SAT score, GPA, bank account balance, credit card number. That will catch my eye. 

Long Bios
If I see that your bio is multiple paragraphs or just all around unwieldy, I'm wondering why you are so invested in Tinder that you've taken the time to cultivate such a lengthy bio. Like did you quit your day job to pursue Tinder full-time? It's a turn off. And a left swipe.
Suggestion: Keep it short and simple, a few facts or interests. Two terribly brief paragraphs at most. 

Mirror Pics
Mirros pics are a solid no. Selfies are one thing, and they are practically necessary for an app like this. Mirror pics are a different beast entirely and I recommend a strong zero-tolerance policy.
Suggestion: Selfies. Candids. Mug shots. Anything else really.

Grammatical Errors
If I see a lack of apostrophes, punctuation that's just MIA or the misuse of there/their/they're, I can't.
Suggestion: Fake it if you must. No one will know you spent hours with a dictionary to write a grammatically correct bio. But if you write "I like youre shoes, there cute" I will know to swipe left.

Stupid Name
This is admittedly very shallow, but I just think of my future children telling their friends to check the phone book for "Trixton Jones" and I swipe left every time.  
Suggestion: It's about time you invest in a nickname.