Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Too young to take over, too old to ignore...

I turned 20 a few weeks ago. It took a trip to the dentist for me to really feel old. I've been going to the same dentist since I was 6, and this time they put me in a separate room so I would be away from all of the other little kids getting their teeth cleaned and drilled. Instead of asking the usual 'How are you, Jan? How old are you now? Do you like school?' the dentist and her assistant bitched about their previous patient and how much they hated the latex gloves. One of the only things they did say to me was, "You know who Bush is, right? I used to love them and my last patient didn't know who they were and it made me feel so old". Yeah, join the club.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The plot against America(n Apparel)

I have a problem. I think I have contracted a virus. And it goes by the name of American Apparel.

Before I go any further, before I am accused of being hypocrite, I will admit, I own about 5 or 6 items from this store. I'm even wearing a dress from there in my profile picture (it made my ass look like Siam, by the way). But I convinced myself that despite the fact that it was hugely unflattering, it was an essential asset to my wardrobe and life. Because it is an addiction. But why? Their clothes are overpriced, ugly, and designed to make a girl with an average body type (like myself) feel like they are a fat cow.

First of all, let's talk about the sizes. The tops and dresses come in sizes that go from XXSmall to XXLarge. In any other clothing store, I'm a small. In American Apparel, I am a fatass. The clothes are skintight and seem to be designed with every intention of highlighting every little hidden fold of fat or pock of cottage cheese ass that you might be trying to hide. Let's take this stupid little dress, for example:

I've seen this ridiculous cotton spandex number on girls of all body types. IT NEVER LOOKS GOOD. I don't know who designed this, but it doesn't 'flatter your curves'...it makes you look like a tube of toothpaste. And they're so tight that it's nearly impossible to walk in. I've never gotten a complex from a dress before. Maybe I'm just bitter because I will never look good in it. I've tried it several times, each time thinking 'Maybe this time it won't make my hips look childbearing and make my ass look like it's meant for skiing on'. But it just wasn't meant to be. And let's not even talk about the ugly color schemes. Yellow and white? Turqoise and blue? They don't even go together. So why is it that all of downtown New York hipster kids wear it all the time? Is it really that chic to wear skintight ice skating outfits and shiny orange spandex pants? Topped off with a shiny gold headband that makes you look like a dumbass hippie reject? A few weeks ago I saw a hipster kid begging for money in the subway, and he was clothed from head to toe in American Apparel. I wanted to grab him by his dumbass suspenders and tell him that if he sold his clothes he'd probably have enough money for meals for a week.

And what in god's name is up with the sizes? I spoke to one of the girls working there to ask why a size EXTRA small was translating to an extra LARGE, and she replied "I guess American body types are different here than they are in London". What kind of excuse is that? Not to mention when I bought an item of clothing (because let's be honest, ladies, no matter how much you might despise clothes, retail therapy is a sickness. And it makes you feel better) I was charged $12 extra. When I went back to ask for my money back, the same girl replied, "Um, I don't know I guess the cost is different in Britan and America hasn't caught up yet". Okay, so because Americans are fat cows we are also stupid enough to get cheated out of our money.

So why is it that I keep coming back to this store to try on the same dress, hoping that this time it will fit? Even though every time I've tried it on all it has done is make me feel bad about myself? Is it because I see so many people wearing it and unconsiously think, "Well, even though it looks awful, everyone else is wearing it, so I have to too". I really don't know. It can't be the advertising, because even the manequins in the store look like they're dying for air. Does anyone know? Is it really that when it comes down to it, I am that shallow? Because if that's the case, I'm not satisfied. And one day I will overcome my need to try on ugly, unflattering clothes that serve to make me feel large and insignificant!

But first, I need to buy this dress because it looks incredibly flattering and I NEED IT!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Why I've traded men for canines.

I got back home from my friend Michey's house at around 3AM. I haven't been home for about 2 months, and I have the week off for springbreak.

I let myself inside and turned off the alarm. Everyone else was asleep but him. I heard his footsteps before I spotted him at the top of the steps. He was staring at me with wide eyes and his jaw dropped, as if he couldn't believe that it was really me. I called for him to come downstairs and greet me and he came down halfway before stopping again. The excitement of my presence seemed to be literally making him dizzy. So I started up the stairs and we met halfway. I was greeted with grunts of delight, wet kisses, and a wagging tail. I hugged him as hard as I could without injuring him and we trotted into the kitchen together to get a midnight snack and catch up on things. I asked him how he's been and told him what I've been up to while sharing a bowl of popcorn with him. After I brought my bags upstairs I changed into my pajamas and the two of us got into bed and spooned for the rest of the night. I hugged him tightly against me and buried my nose against the back of his head, taking in his scent of musky outdoors and rain combined with smoke and oddly enough, air freshener. I couldn't help but think, this is what a loving relationship is all about.

Obviously, I'm talking about my dog; a Cairn Terrier named Michaelangelo (Mickey for short). That kind of excited, 'HOLY FUCK I CAN'T FUCKING BELIEVE IT'S REALLY YOU' is the kind of greeting that I have never recieved from another human being. Not to say that my family and friends don't love me, but it's one thing to vocalize missing someone and giving hugs, but it's quite another to give an animated performance and essentially do a ritualized dance with excitement. This is one of the reasons why I've realized that no one will ever love you like your dog.

I don't say this to be harsh, or depressing. I'm simply being realistic. Think about it. Who else will cuddle with you in the middle of the day (or night, if you're an insomniac like me) no matter how horrible you look from lack of a shower or make-up, or how bad you smell. Who else will love you completely unconditionally no matter what? Who will follow you around from room to room (even the bathroom) even when you're PMSing and feel horrible? Who will love you no matter what, despite all of your imperfections?

When I look into my dog's eyes, I don't see judgement or scrutiny. He doesn't think I should change. He loves me just the way I am. Guys will break your heart. They will make you doubt yourself, and later maybe they'll leave. They'll make you feel bad about yourself and then ask for your forgiveness. They'll say that they don't mind your farting in bed, or the fact that sometimes you like to listen to the A*Teens, but you know that deep down, they're a little freaked out. They'll demand to know why you've been out so long, and silently suspect you of dishonesty. They'l accidentally insult your mother to her face. And they'll burn your toast.

But a dog will never look down upon you, or judge you for the things you like, and what your ambitions are. They'll will always forgive you for your faults, like being away from home and not visiting him for over 2 months. They'll make you feel beautiful and loved like no one else can. They will remain loyal to you no matter what. A dog is completely incapable of ill will towards another being. They want only to love and be loved in return. And my dog can sense when I'm in a bad mood. If I'm unhappy, he is clearly unsettled. His ears will go down and he'll sulk in the corner, mirroring my actions. We're totally in sync to each other's moods. We know how to read one another.

And for the record, when my mom calls me at school to tell me that my dog has peed on the corner of my bed again, it actually warms my heart. I know that in his own way, it means that he loves me and misses me, and he'll be damned if anyone else is going to come into my room and try to claim ownership of my heart.

I haven't found the 'one' perfect guy. And maybe I never will. And who knows if that's necessarily a bad thing? Guys come with baggage. Relationships end, and they end badly. The bond between human and animal is unbreakable. So while I haven't found the man of my dreams, I have my dog, and that's enough for me. Hell, if I could marry my dog, I'd do it in a heartbeat. Call it crazy; call it deeply disturbing. I call it unrequited love :).