Stuff I Actually Did During the Time I Told My Husband I Was Folding Laundry

63323065.jpg

  1. Fold one shirt, one towel, and pair up two of his black socks, though they aren’t two black socks that match.
  2. Pause mid-folding to stare, slack-jawed, at the television for ten minutes, since Hulu auto-played an episode of Modern Family that I’d already seen twice.
  3. Lose the thread of my actual task since Gloria is wearing a gorgeous deep berry lip color and I have to stop and google who does Sofia Vergara’s makeup.
  4. Spend fifteen minutes swiping through slideshows of Sofia Vergara and Joe Mangianello’s relationship, lamenting the fact that I was not born more beautiful and Columbian.
  5. Back on task since I hear Orie heading toward the bedroom. Add two towels and a pair of jeans to the ‘folded’ pile.
  6. Once Orie has gone again, I consider painting my nails. I don’t do it, though, since I am back on task. Commend myself for being a great wife and life partner.
  7. Fold two of Lucy’s shirts and a pair of her leggings that have a rip in the knee. Consider patching the rip, but remember I’m not handy and Target sells new leggings for like, $3 a pair with Cartwheel.
  8. Redownload the Facebook app that I deleted two days prior, back when I was determined to ‘make the most of every day’ and ‘be more productive.’ I have since re-accepted the reality that the most I can expect out of most days is mediocrity and I am only productive when slightly inebriated, angry, or motivated by money.
  9. Scroll down Facebook feed. Try and fail not to get deeply offended by a heinously sexist meme posted by a kid I went to high school with. He used to play a lot of Halo. Instead of arguing, I unfriend him. Good job, Grace. Keep your echo chamber nice and cozy.
  10. Orie loops back by to tell me something about Google Fiber that I don’t understand. I dutifully nod and make my eyes all wide and listen-y as I fold some washcloths.
  11. Orie leaves, and I automatically pick up my phone. Google auto-fills my next search from ‘h’ to ‘Harry Styles’ and I feel a deep wave of shame as I backspace and instead finish typing ‘how does fiber internet work?’
  12. No explanations exist that are simple enough for me to understand. Try again with ‘how does internet work?’
  13. This is boring. Allow Google take me where it knows I really belong.
  14. Spend five minutes scrolling through photos of Harry Styles.
  15. Lucy runs in, announces that she has farted. I exasperatedly tell her that I am folding laundry, and to give me a minute.
  16. Lucy helpfully points out that I’m just ‘playing on my phone.’ Tell Lucy I don’t need that kind of judgment and she is no longer welcome in my life bedroom.
  17. Glance up to see Ariel Winter sassing Claire on TV. Think back nostalgically to the days before Ariel Winter took her fashion inspiration from Atlanta strippers.
  18. Accidentally fold the rest of the basket while considering what life must be like as a stripper in Atlanta, and realize with a jolt that I have no more laundry to fold.
  19. Orie comes back in, says brightly, ‘hey, you’re done! Come watch this video I found.’
  20. Cast around frantically for more clean clothes to fold. There are none. Ariel Winter has thwarted me again. I have to watch the video.
  21. Begrudgingly learn about Google Fiber.

“How Can You Say Young Girls Don’t Get It?”; Unpacking the Importance of Harry Styles’ Comment on Young Women

“Who’s to say that young girls who like pop music – short for popular, right? – have worse musical taste than a 30-year-old hipster guy? That’s not up to you to say. Music is something that’s always changing. There’s no goal posts. Young girls like the Beatles. You gonna tell me they’re not serious? How can you say young girls don’t get it? They’re our future. Our future doctors, lawyers, mothers, presidents, they kind of keep the world going. Teenage-girl fans – they don’t lie. If they like you, they’re there. They don’t act ‘too cool.’ They like you, and they tell you. Which is sick.” – Harry Styles, for Rolling Stone

If I could send just one thing back in time to my tween self, I’d always thought it would’ve been a lesson on how to put on a condom. After reading Harry Styles’ Rolling Stone interview, however, I think I’m changing my choice to this quotation.

I’ve made no secret about my love of Harry Styles, though I prefer to slip my naked adoration in as a punchline to retain some semblance of dignity. When I read the Stone interview, however, this chunk of text resonated with me in a way that seemed important, even ten years too late. Because for me as a young girl, I don’t think there was anything more precious and needed than validation, especially when it came to my own opinions.

I know I’m not alone in this, either. It’s so easy for society to talk down to young women on a grand scale, since pubescent girls are often viewed as little more than hot messes. They cry often, have mood swings, crave reassurance that they matter in a world where the ‘important’ jobs are mostly populated by men – unless that was just me, though I find that very hard to believe. It’s a volatile, confusing, scary time, and the last thing you need as a tween girl is to have your opinions, thoughts, and interests invalidated.

And yet society generally does just that.

The fact that Harry Styles not only sees the problem in that but is also using his mega-massive platform to address it only makes me love him more, which is bad news for Orie since I think he’s slowly dying inside from overexposure to Sign of the Times. Not to mention that Styles even goes so far as to laud the earnestness of feeling within young women: “If they like you, they’re there. They don’t act ‘too cool.’ They like you, and they tell you. Which is sick.” Call it fan service, but I know I always appreciate it when anyone thinks of emotional intensity as a strength rather than a weakness. As a fan, I feel serviced.

Plus Styles drives the point home by pointing out that young girls are our future – “our future doctors, lawyers, mothers, presidents”. Styles’ fanbase consists of mostly young girls, meaning they’ll be the ones reading this and internalizing an entirely different message than the one I did from my pop crushes: that your opinions are valid, your emotions are laudable, and you are destined for greatness, be that as a doctor, a mother, a lawyer, or a president.

Thanks, Harry Styles, for being a positive role model for girls and humans everywhere.

… And also for having the smooth-timbered voice of an angel and looking like this.

tumblr_oocniw92dk1u4m4fxo2_r1_540.png

Grace & Jess In the Wild: Grace Gives Birth

No, no, it’s okay, I’m not going to tell you about it. Not any more than to say sometimes epidurals don’t take and it’s perfectly normal to temporarily resent your newborn for the first 12 hours of its life as you attempt to process the extreme, life-changing pain you just experienced. … I hope.

This is just an explanation for the quiet on the blog since I missed last Wednesday and Jessica refuses to pick up my slack. She’s cute, right? I’ll be back next week with something equally as inane as usual – if not MOREso!

In the meantime, welcome to the world, Atlas. You’re gonna turn out real weird if your sister is any indication.

Guest Spot: Kim Curates Your Weekend Youtube Binge

The internet is a vast and strange place. You know this in the abstract. You’ve probably seen flashes of it on your Facebook feed. You’ve definitely deep-dived yourself before and somehow ended up on that video of the entire Bee movie that gets sped up whenever someone says “bee.” We’ve all been there. But you know you’ve still only scratched the surface of all of the oddities the interwebz has to offer.

So, this Friday night, you can either go through all the effort of pulling yourself together (putting real clothes on, trying not to mess up your eyeliner, messing up your eyeliner, fixing your eyeliner, second-guessing your outfit, corralling your friends then finally, finally going out like the Normal People do) or you can grab a snack, snuggle up with a blanket, and let a stranger give you a guided tour of Youtube and let that springboard you into your own deep dive.

Hi. I’m Kim and I’m your tour guide this evening. I don’t have any wise advice on being pregnant or single and, although I’m a feminist, I can’t be real and empowering the way Grace is. I have exactly one talent, and it’s probably the reason why I haven’t had the time to acquire any others: I’m the friend that finds the weird internet videos. And I’m damn good at it.

I first acknowledged my talent after I went through a phase in undergrad where I stayed up until three in the morning for a week watching videos on how to make the perfect eggs, English and Japanese style.

In honor of that, here’s Gordon Ramsey yelling passionately about making sexy scrambled eggs. It’s downright motivating and has 20 million views.

Already seen that? Let Francis, the host of the show Cooking with Dog, teach you how to make a Japanese omelette.

Bored? Okay, well that means you lost your childlike sense of wonder, but that’s fine. If you want something a more extreme, check out AnimalBytesTV (formerly SnakeBytesTV) and see the craziest snake morphs. No, unfortunately, no one turns into a snake. Snake morphs are combinations of genes in snakes that breeders use to come up with rare and pretty colors and patterns, usually in ball pythons. It has a lot to do with dominant and recessive traits and definitely would have been a much more interesting way to learn about genetics in biology. Also, yes, all of those plastic containers behind him have snakes in them.

If you’re going to delve further into AnimalBytes, I highly encourage it because Brian has all the chill and I adore him. But just fair warning, it gets pretty raunchy and you can accidentally end up on double snake penises or lizard sex.

Not a snake person? I get it, I have an irrational phobia of lizards. I can make it up to you though. Are you still on the Jenna Marbles bandwagon? I lost track of her for a few years but recently came back into the fold and her new content is excellent. Recently, Jenna Marbles got really into a channel called Nail Career Education and became inspired to do her own acrylic nails. It did not go well. Obviously.

The best part is, Suzie from Nail Career Education made a super sweet response video.

And Jenna proceeded to double down by trying to do acrylic toenails.

I have no good segue to go here but my roommate and I literally just had a dance party in our kitchen, which gave me the opportunity to show her Bastille’s amazing talent for doing covers. Their rendition of No Scrubs is nothing short of soulful, but their true masterpiece is their cover of We Can’t Stop by Miley Cyrus, with a bit of Billy Ray thrown in. So, I thought it was only fitting I showed you too.

Let me set the scene. It’s 2013, around the time where Miley was tossing aside Hannah Montana to perform with Robin Thicke and do sexual things with a foam finger. You remember, back when we weren’t sure what was going on with her and everyone, myself included, was being at least paternalistic if not outright judgmental. To be fair, she almost married then split with a Hemsworth, and that seemed like cause for concern.
Enter Bastille, with their oddly dystopian and shade-filled cover that’s half interpretation of her relationship with her father and half reflection on society as a whole.

If you’re still with me, I’d like to reward you with the video that always cheers me up when I’m down: A Depressed Whale.

Maybe you’re now deeply engrossed into your own far-reaching corner of the internet. But, probably, you’re wondering why the hell Grace gave me a platform because I’m wondering that too. Anyway, I hope you had a good time regardless. If this doesn’t completely tank her site and passion, I might be back with even weirder videos to show you, because this is my life’s passion.

Bonus: Natalie Tran does a beauty/lifestyle vlogger parody with a twist


Kim is a law student with a very much intact childlike sense of wonder. She lives in D.C. and spends lots of time introducing her friends to weird hobbies and interests. It is only a matter of time before she is declared a national treasure. See what she’s up to on instagram @kimmism101

6 Stupid Words and Phrases That I Hate

We all know someone who doesn’t like the word ‘moist.’ According to an actual scientific study, 20% of the population finds hearing it to be deeply unsettling, and it’s been referenced so many times in pop culture that an aversion to it has basically become a part of our zeitgeist.

d89fda5c8845ead4c2ba48033f9b746e.jpg

Word aversions aren’t anything new, though the motivation between this moist disgust seems to be shifting from moralistic indignation to more visceral reasons like ‘mouth feel.’ It’s a fascinating topic but not one I’m delving into today, since I’m not your freaking science teacher and I hate the following six words and phrases for no other reason than they’re really fucking stupid.

1. Hubby

First of all, just look at it. Now say it out loud. You look and sound like a sad fish. Hubby. What a ridiculous and unnecessary word. It’s not any shorter than husband; it’s still two syllables, but at least when you say ‘husband’ it gives the impression that you are literate.

I genuinely don’t know why I despise this word so much. I think it might be due to overexposure, or the way so many smug bloggers use it as a Stepford-esque identifier to find their sisters in the wild. Actually, I think that may be the cause. I am too deeply insecure to be smug. I am just jealous of their smugness.

But I will still never say hubby.

2. Pretties

I hate this SO MUCH and I see it the most on makeup groups – “just got all these new pretties!!” “look at my MAC pretties all lined up” “all the pretties <3” – but it happens in real life, too. This one is just semantics because pretty is freaking adjective and pluralizing it incorrectly only makes it a verb, which isn’t what you’re going for, and it makes you sound like the Wicked Witch of the West.

658d1af433f23ccb79027d86de950d7e.jpgThis is you.

3. Sorry Not Sorry

I admit that when I was like, twenty and this expression was trendy, I used to flippantly say it all the time. What I didn’t realize then was that I deserved to be slapped in the mouth, since now when I hear anyone over the age of sixteen say this (or hashtag it, or use it as a caption, or force it into a Bustle article) it makes me wanna stab myself.

I literally cannot think of a response more juvenile to anything than ‘sorry not sorry,’ especially when it’s following a statement like ‘Sushi with my girls for the third night in a row!’ Guess what? You don’t have to be sorry for that. No one gives a shit that you’re cramming raw salmon down your gullet for yet another night running. Just caption the picture ‘My life is more fun than yours’ and I promise we’ll get the message.

(I might be jealous of your sushi dates, too. It’s been a very long time since sushi.)

4. Yaaaasss/Slay

I really don’t feel like this one needs an explanation. Extra crappy if there’s a ‘kween’ in there somewhere. Don’t just repeat inane, canned slang phrases; be a Leslie Knope. Think up amazing epithets to shower upon your friends that are less audibly irritating than a nasally ‘yaaaaaaaassssssss queeeeen slaaaaay.’

leslieknope-list-moth

5. My Heart Is So Full

OF WHAT?!

This one popped up on my Facebook feed and then suddenly was everywhere, with girls across America suffering from this nauseating pandemic. It chased the heels of ‘To the Moon and Back’ on its way out and has seemingly parked its keister here to stay, judging by its popularity between the newly engaged and middle-aged alike.

Just know that if your heart ever actually feels full of anything, it is wisest to see a cardiologist.

6. Flesh

I hate this word because it is gross and it makes my skin crawl and I fully defend my stance that it should be thrown out and replaced with a less heinous alternative. There is nothing more to say here. Gross gross gross.

Disclaimer: If this post seems unnecessarily aggressive and I seem angry over nothing and in dire need of one of these little puppies

image.jpg

it’s only because I am now nearly 39 weeks pregnant and everything hurts and I am dying. I promise to be more fun next week. … Or maybe the next.

But to make up for this pointless vitriol against innocent words that did nothing wrong, we have another guest post on Friday written by a very talented friend with knack for curating the best Youtube playlists of all time. Get amped.

 

Book Review: The Magicians by Lev Grossman

l-grossman_magicians

I really, really expected to like this book.

It’s a book about magic, for one, and that’s my effing fave. For another, it’s a book about magic that takes place alongside the real world, which is the niche that I live for. And for a final, it’s a book that the New York Times claimed “could crudely be labeled Harry Potter for adults,” so I was sold.

Of course, expectations can betray you.

The only thing about this book that made it ‘Harry Potter for adults’ is that it dealt with a seemingly ordinary (sort of) boy being surprise-enrolled in a magical university, having sex, and swearing. That’s… pretty much where that comparison ends.

Quentin Coldwater is a high school senior when he sits the complex, confusing exam for Brakebills, a school for magic that you can’t find unless you’re invited. He’s a completely relatable character in that he was obsessed with a fictional book series as a child, one that heavily parallels C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia though it centers around Chatwins instead of Pevensies and it takes place in Fillory rather than Narnia. He’s a completely non-relatable character in that he’s a math supergenius who’s kind of a dick. … Constantly.

A lot of the synopses for this book state that it’s about Coldwater discovering Fillory and engaging in an epic adventure there with his ragtag gang, but that is so misleading. The majority of the book takes place at Brakebills, and details the sometimes interesting, oftentimes boring process of learning magic.

Unlike J.K. Rowling’s magical world where the technicalities and ‘how’s of magic are glossed over in favor of plot and character development, Grossman’s coverage of the magical schooling process is detailed into dullness. It seems imperative that the readers understand that in this universe, learning magic is difficult and real, unlike the silly nonsense of those other magical stories. At several points, Grossman draws outright parallels to other fantasy novels and makes it clear that Quentin Coldwater is a Serious Magician who says adult words like ‘fuck,’ and in the process basically kicks the giants as he stands on their shoulders.

Of course, all of the information we’re given about this universe is through the lens of the protagonist Coldwater, who’s not a pleasant dude. He’s a thoroughly unlikable main character: he constantly blames others for his unhappiness, can’t seem to see or own up to his own mistakes (some of which get people killed), and is weirdly misogynistic. It’s likely just my own personal bias that I’m bringing to this book as a reader, but struggling to identify or sympathize with Quentin made it difficult to care about the outcome of this story, even once they had made their way into Fillory.

Once again, I think the fault here really lies with my expectations. When I read a fantasy novel about a ‘regular guy’ swept into a magical land, I expect an aspect of fairytale wonder to come into play, an escape from the base ugliness of reality. With Grossmans The Magicians, you’re never allowed to escape reality, since Quentin himself can’t seem to escape it no matter how much further down the magical-realm rabbit hole he goes. In that way, it’s masterful; you are almost as frustrated as Quentin at points, waiting for the ‘real’ story to begin, which is exactly what Quentin is doing even as he works his way through Brakebills and beyond.

Unfortunately, Quentin’s self-imposed misery and hypocrisy made me more turned off than engaged, and by the halfway point it was a real effort to finish the book. The pace was erratic, dragging and frantic at alternating points, and the ending itself wasn’t particularly satisfactory, since it was a clear jumping-off point to a sequel rather than a wrap-up of a novel. I never found myself invested in any of the characters since they were all whiny and weighted down with an almost forced surplus of ‘edginess,’ one that felt more like a poor attempt at Donna Tartt-esque personification than anything else.

Thankfully, Grossman is a skilled writer, so the descriptions of his world were crisp and lovely. I hope he produces another series soon, since I just can’t bring myself to pick up another Magicians novel.

 

 

Guest Spot: Being the Single Friend

This is a guest post written by our overseas HTLYT babe, Elodie McClean. It’s the first of her contributions but won’t be the last, so get hyped. Do your best making sense of her weird English spellings and please don’t send us emails correcting the ‘s’ she used in ‘realising’ since we know it’s there and yes, it hurts out patriotic little souls too.

Until recently I hadn’t been that bothered by my single status. Despite my mum, with the best of intentions, telling me I shouldn’t let myself get left behind while my friends moved in with their boyfriends, I was quite content with my lot in life: I have a steady and very sociable job in London, see my friends pretty regularly, and am lucky to have enough disposable income to allow me to do whatever I want (within reason). Pretty sweet, right?

Well, it is and it isn’t. As with everything, there are pros and there are cons but it only seems to be lately that I think about the cons more – or rather, they are thrown into sharper relief.

My first relationship as a teenager was very long-term and lasted well into my first year at university. Even though it ended on my terms, it was a hard thing to move on from. I didn’t want to be a rebound girl and I took a measured step back from anything remotely close to a proper relationship for the next couple of years. He, on the other hand, despite being apparently blindsided and heartbroken, got a new girlfriend within two months – boys, right?

Combine that experience with a rocky time navigating university and realising I actually had to study to pass exams, and before I knew it four years had passed and I was graduating without ever having really dipped a toe back into the relationship game. And, tragically, technology and social media and all that jazz had taken over the world while I hadn’t been paying attention. Thankfully, I had other focuses like finding myself a job post-graduation and figuring out my next steps for me, so I was in no rush.

image (2)Hahahahahah I’m not crying, you’re crying.

But yet again, time got away from me. Now here I am, another four years later and still not settled with anyone. And now I’m the only one. (Not ever in the world, obviously, but for the point of this post let’s allow me some exaggeration, okay?)

I’ve got a great close group of girlfriends and we have always been pretty evenly split between being comfortably coupled up and being single. But then 2016 happened and suddenly us single gals were down to two and the previously fun meet-ups where ‘partners are invited, of course!’ were slightly less appealing.

In a bit of a resigned panic after being a fifth wheel on New Year’s Eve, Tinder was suddenly re-downloaded onto my phone. I once again began the laborious task of judging guys on appearance alone to try and get myself more pro-actively into the dating scene.

I hate ‘dating’, I always have, but my circumstances being what they are (graduate of an all-girls secondary school and then graduate of a 90% female degree course with my only extra-curricular interest being the very “girly” world of horse-riding) I can’t really afford to be too disparaging of app-dating when my ‘pool’ is so shallow. Besides, where else do people find each other these days?

(Don’t even get me started on the ‘eligible men’ in my workplace – I use ‘eligible’ and ‘men’ as very loose terms for what my options are here. They’re great for a fun night out and some cheeky banter, but not the kind of guys you wanna take home to your mum. The fact that I have also witnessed up close just how complicated it can get when you quite literally mix work with pleasure makes me even less inclined to dip my pen in the company ink.)

But the main problem with the whole Tinder thing, which I’m resigned to now that I’m forced to wade in on it, is that first dates are the worst.

The. Worst.

Trust me on this – I’ve been on plenty, more than my fair share probably. Having the same inane ‘getting to know you’ conversation over and over again with the added pressure of trying to impress the other party is tough. To be fair to myself, it’s no wonder I give up every few months.

Unfortunately, those already loved-up couples don’t get it, and probably never will unless they’re some of the lucky ones who found their soulmate on Tinder after being on it for a grand total of three weeks (true story), so it is far too easy for them to keep on asking if I’m ‘having any luck’ on there.

image (1)Three little words I simultaneously yearn for and dread. Hooray, self-validation! Oh, you mean I have to make small talk with a stranger now? Great.

Being asked ‘but don’t you want a boyfriend??’ on a semi-regular basis by well meaning family and being told that I ought not to be so picky (like they’re lining up down the street and I’m saying ‘nah, thanks’) does get tedious in an eye-rolling, dismissive kind of way, but it also has an annoying tendency to wheedle under my skin and linger there despite my general ‘it’ll happen when it happens’ attitude. I find myself thinking negatively about being the one turning up solo to a friend’s engagement party, or receiving an invitation to a wedding with no option for a plus one and wavering between resenting the implication of ‘what’s the point, she’ll be on her own’ and just shrugging it off because that’s fair enough and I am indeed Chronically Single.

Don’t get me wrong, this does not make me any less made-up for my newly engaged friends or my really-soon-to-be married ones. It just magnifies the introspection as to exactly why I am still single, and probably explains why I hit the pub at lunchtimes more often these days. (That’s a joke, please don’t tell my mum.)

Let’s take a break for a moment from the crybaby stuff and think about the pros I mentioned way up there. There are a few but here are the best:

  • I don’t have to factor anyone else into my decision making – Want to up and leave for a spontaneous night out? Can do! Want to eat an entire tub of Sainsbury’s Onion & Garlic dip with some BBQ Kettle Chips? Done! What about delaying that hair-wash that’s already a day overdue? A-OK! Ain’t nobody else to impress (thanks Bey).
  • I can binge watch an entire Netflix series as and when I want – Watching a series with someone in the same room is tough enough for a TV-aficionado like me, since I can’t bear interruptions. And what if your schedules don’t match up? What if there’s nothing else on and all you want/need is one more intense fix of Broadchurch or some comic relief with Parks & Rec? Bite the bullet and watch it anyway, I say, as I let Netflix autoplay all remaining episodes.
  • Maybe best of all, actually, is that I can starfish across my double bed and not kick anyone – There is so much space to fling my arms and legs about (except when my ‘little’ dog Django comes to share with me) and honestly I think that’s what I will find the hardest to adapt to when (!) my singledom ends.
imageAn actual live picture of what I was snacking on while I wrote this.

I’m not pessimistic, in general, and fully expect Prince Charming (yah, sure) to be right around the corner lying in wait. But it definitely can be hard to be the only one – or feel like the only one – without a fella, and it can be a real rollercoaster; sometimes it barely feels like an issue at all, and even makes you feel freer and grateful to not have any reliance or obligation to include someone else in your decision making (see above re: Netflix binges).

But sometimes it feels a little isolating, especially when you watch the group Whatsapp fill with invitations to events where everyone else’s boyfriends get invited by name. It definitely makes you wish you had someone else there with whom to share some private jokes, someone who doesn’t mind listening to you whine about your tedious day at the office.

Or at, the very least, someone to attend all those engagement parties with.


Elodie McClean is a blue-lipstick wearing business bitch living in London, England. She’s learning her twenties the same as the rest of us: slowly, and with a heavy injection of gin and tonics. If you want to see entirely too many pictures of her dogs, check out her instagram at @elodiehope.