As Featured on News Cult: Sentences That Were Said at My Thanksgiving Table

This year, I hosted Thanksgiving. And learned it’s amazing what you can do with basically an Easy-Bake Oven and approximately no counter space. And because the dinner conversation was particularly amusing, I thought I’d share with you some of the sentences that were said at my Thanksgiving table (or Thanksgiving table-adjacent). I’ve left names out here** in an effort to respect other people’s privacy, because apparently not everyone shares every personal detail of their lives online. So I’ll leave it up to you to guess who said what.

“You’ve never had a foreskin so you don’t know if they’re sensitive. HA—I win, by virtue of you being circumcised!”

“… So I told the other parents, ‘If his mom and dad are going to murder him, it’s not going to be here [at the school].”

• Person 1: “Who was your 5th grade choir teacher again?”

Person 2: “Ugh God she was a cunt.”

“Guys, I have a huge crotch hole. Just be advised. We’re on crotch alert!”

“Look at this GORGEOUS foam.” -self-satisfied user of a new milk frother

“Yeah, I saw a photo of him at that restaurant where they make you wear a sombrero on your birthday—he does not like Mexicans.”

• Person 1: “One of his male students is named ‘Marvelous.'”

Person 2: “Is that student a black woman?”

“Why do birds have legs? If I were a bird, I would never walk—why wouldn’t you just fly everywhere?”

• Intense laughter at this:

*The choice of banana cream is significant on so many wonderful levels.

Person 1: “Can you tell I’ve gained a lot of weight?”

Person 2: ” ….. “

Person 1: “Who bought a new pair of Uggs?”

Person 2: “… Me—they were on sale! I’ve never seen Uggs on sale.”

Person 1: How many pairs of shoes do you own?”

Person 2: “Umm… Well you counted once.”

Person 1: “OMG you guys, Sarah Silverman is at the table next to us! She’s wearing full-body sweatpants with a loose bun in her hair. I love how real she is.”

Person 2: “Yeah, that’s how celebrities go out—they try to look low key and casual. That’s why the guy at that other table kept staring at you—you have that same look, so he must’ve thought you were someone famous.”

Person 1: “Oh, you mean because I’m wearing my plus-sized women’s sweater, size X/1X (meanwhile no one knows what the X stands for), and boots with holes in them? Is that your way of telling me I look messy?”

Person 2: ” …. “

• Person 1: “I should dress up as Hitler for Halloween one year and see how well that’s received.”

Everyone else at the table: 

“I have a great idea: I’m gonna go to strip clubs, and instead of throwing singles at them, I’m gonna throw college pamphlets.”

• Person 1: [Barrel rolls down big grassy hill, minus the barrel]

Person 2: “Why did you roll diagonally to the left?”

Person 1: “I don’t know.”

Person 2: “It’s because your hips are wider than your shoulders.”

Person 1: What did you just say?”

Person 2: [Points at Person 1] “Look—it’s true!”

**Please note, “Person 1” and “Person 2” are meant simply to designate dialogue at any given point in time, not specific people.

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/actual-fuck-sentences-said-thanksgiving-table/

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As Featured on News Cult: Don’t Have New Year’s Plans? Here Are Some Ideas

Personally, I’m a fan of not doing anything on New Year’s, because a) I never want to do anything and b) let’s all stop fooling ourselves—it’s not some night of great significance or a promise of change—it’s the same old shitty fucking day that we lived yesterday and will live again tomorrow. So let’s not go out of our way to celebrate or do something special.

But I realize a lot of you actually think there is meaning in life so you go out on New Year’s Eve and do something to mark the occasion. So if you don’t already have plans, here are some ideas for what you can do.

1. Stay in

Of course this is still the best option.

2. Ruminate over all the things you did wrong in 2015

You could turn this into a pity party—invite all of your (non-)friends over and host a story circle where you all go around and list your ‘Mistakes of 2015.’ This one is going to take a while, so I suggest starting a week in advance.

3. Go out into the middle of your street at midnight and bang pots and pans

It’ll be a nice way to piss off your shit neighbors ring in the New Year.

4. Kill yourself

Not condoning suicide here (anyone who could sue me, please take note)—but just sayin’… if you were going to do it anyway, why not really beat the symbolism of the act to death by doing it on NYE? (No pun intended—look how much of a genius I am without even trying).

5. Set off fireworks

This is the only remotely fun celebratory act that exists. Bonus: it’s illegal (in most states). If the cops show up, make sure to run and hide—PROTECT THE ILLICIT GOODS AT ALL COSTS. WHAT IS FREEDOM ABOUT IF NOT THE RIGHT TO SET OFF FIREWORKS. AMERICA.

6. Show up at your ex’s doorstep

And when they open the door, say, “Hey! Thanks so much for inviting me! I’m really glad we can hang out like old times” as you push past them. [Stick to the plan—it doesn’t matter if they are with their family, or their new significant other, or having a party—forge ahead. Channel your character in Oregon Trail and stay the course. Unless your character died. Which they probably did. Bad analogy. Channel Charlie Sheen in his sex life—he’s proceeding no matter what—a little HIV isn’t gonna stop him! (Has it been enough time yet?)].

7. Go camping

By yourself. Ring in the New Year like the rest of the year is going to go (and like every year before that has gone): you, un-showered, alone in the dark, subsisting on instant oatmeal because it’s the only thing you can summon the energy to make—like it’s easier for you to make oatmeal than order in food—because then you’d actually have to put clothes on to open the door. Although I suppose you could just yell to the delivery guy, “Leave it at the door and WALK AWAY!!” à la a hostage situation.

8. Find someone who will have sex with you

Start the New Year off with a bang. [Sorry, had to.] *Please note: you may have to pay them.

9. Hang out with your parents

Because they’re the only people who want to hang out with you.

10. Drink champagne

Preferably a couple of bottles by yourself. Through a crazy straw of course.

11. Play a prank on someone

I suggest reporting a friend to Homeland Security, or proposing to your significant other, or telling your parents you’re pregnant.

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/dont-new-years-plans-ideas/

As Featured on News Cult: My Confessions

On this day that everyone is giving thanks for the fact that we slaughtered, enslaved and oppressed Native Americans, the best way Americans know how—by stuffing their faces—I thought I’d list my confessions instead of what I’m grateful for, cause I ain’t grateful for shit (jk that just sounded cool in my head). I don’t believe in religion so I’ve never been to confessional, but that’s not going to stop me. Consider yourselves my priests, and forgive me, for I have sinned.

1. I kind of think Justin Bieber’s new album is good

So sue me.

2. I laugh at funerals

But to be fair, I laugh at everything.

3. I watch too much crappy reality TV

Ugh. This is my scarlet letter. It’s just so much easier to turn off my brain when I get home from work than watch the news and drown in how fucked up the world will always be. That said, I judge the people on these shows and people who watch these shows hard, and believe strongly that we should all constantly be educating ourselves on meaningful issues. Some may call that hypocrisy; I prefer self-awareness.

4. I love revenge

People say it’s best to “take the high road” and “be the bigger person” and “let things go.” But also, revenge.

5. I don’t think breaking the law is wrong

As long as you don’t get caught. #stopsignsareoptionalifnooneelseisaround

6. I care more about my dog than any human being

#shegetsit

She is everything. She is the queen of the world.

7. Cereal is my Kryptonite

I could eat it all day every day. Boxes on boxes.

8. I really don’t care

About anything. #justcan’tdealwithit

9. If you’ve had elective plastic surgery

I hope the silicon leaks into your bloodstream and you die.

10. I’m in love with all of the Trader Joe’s cashiers

Seriously—the cutest, nicest, most fun guys are all concentrated at the Trader Joe’s checkout lines. #minustheHawaiianshirts

11. I think I rock a pretty solid man bun

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/my-confessions/

As Featured on News Cult: Why Whitney Way Thore, Star of TLC’s “My Big Fat Fabulous Life,” is My Hero

Whitney Way Thore is the star of the TLC show My Big Fat Fabulous Life, and she is my hero (along with her hilarious mother Babs, whoever invented Girl Scout cookies, and the person who finally got the middle finger emoji to happen). When I first heard of the show, I thought the title was offensive (because that’s what privileged white girls do). But then I actually watched it, and it’s anything but. Whitney put up a video of herself dancing in 2014 that went viral, and her career took off from there. Now, she not only has her own TV show, but she created and runs the No Body Shame (No BS) Campaign, teaches “Big Girl Dance Classes” at the Greensboro Dance Theater (where she grew up taking lessons in NC), is writing her first book, and travels the world spreading her body positivity message.

Honestly I’ve never seen a public figure who is so authentically and joyfully herself. She grew up dancing and that’s her self-proclaimed life purpose. But she has Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), which is a hormonal disorder women can have that makes it really easy to gain weight and really hard to lose it, among other possible effects (e.g. infertility, low estrogen levels, etc.). So she’s gone through periods of massive weight gain and loss. And because of this, she’s struggled with her body image tremendously. So much so that she’s also battled severe eating disorders. But now, at one of her heaviest weights, she’s got more confidence than ever and is leading the battle against body shaming. And I think her use of the word “fat” is a perfect example of this: she owns it, reclaims it, and doesn’t allow herself to be ruled by its traditionally negative connotations.

And the way she’s achieved such a self-affirmed existence is shockingly simple: loving herself. Unconditionally. Her whole message is basically that every human, regardless of their size or appearance, is so worthy, and doesn’t deserve to be shamed or embarrassed or made to feel less than because of what they look like. It should be so obvious, but so few of us live that. It’s always “I’ll love myself if I lose 20 pounds, if I look good in a bikini, if someone else tells me I’m beautiful.” But Whitney is all about knowing that you’re enough as is, regardless of any self-perceived shortcomings, or anything anyone else criticizes about you. She believes and teaches and exemplifies how you don’t need to be validated by anyone else to feel valid.

Every time I watch an episode of her show, I’m so inspired and impressed by her all over again.  I think one of my favorite things about her is that she continues to dance despite and because of her body image, health, and weight struggles, and she clings to dancing as her one true love and salvation. And maybe that’s because I can relate—while I didn’t grow up in as regimented a dance environment as she did, I’ve always enjoyed dancing, and my best friend, who I could watch dance forever, has really taught me the freedom and value that dancing represents. So dance holds a special place in my heart.

But perhaps the reason I admire her most is because I don’t think I can do what she does. I don’t have the courage she does to live without shame about who she is or how she looks. I don’t have the resolve to know that my worth is defined by my mind, not my body. I cave to the pressure to hate myself all the time. And so I really do look to her as a role model, an example to strive for, and someone who represents hope. I wish I was strong enough to do what she does all on my own, but it’s so much easier to follow in someone else’s footsteps than to forge your own path. Which is so pathetic to say, but if I’m being honest, it’s true for me. At least right now.

But Whitney makes me think that it’s possible for me to live with sincere pride in myself and without fear of external judgment. That it’s possible to accept that I only ever want to wear leggings/expandable clothing, and no makeup, and maternity sweaters. That I don’t have to keep my expired skinny jeans in the back of my wardrobe—I may as well use that shit for kindle because all it’s doing right now is haunting me and I have enough skeletons in my closet. And that my love handles don’t say nearly as much about me as my self-directed shit-talking does. So that’s why she’s my hero (…is totally how a 5th grade report would end, right? Fuck it, this is how I’m ending it. Because I’M GREAT AND CONFIDENT AND DON’T NEED TO APOLOGIZE FOR MYSELF OR EXPLAIN WHY I HAVE THE WRITING SKILLS OF A 10-YR OLD).

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/whitney-way-thore-star-tlcs-big-fat-fabulous-life-hero/

As Featured on News Cult: Why Everyone Needs to Go to Therapy

I’m a huge fan of therapy. Some people treat it like it’s this taboo subject, or are embarrassed to talk about it, but I’m all over that shit. I think everyone needs to be in it, and not only that, but would love it if they gave it a fair shot. It’s medicine. For the soul. Like Chicken Soup for the Soul. Except not because there’s literally nothing more terrible in the world’s existence than that book series.

I don’t know about you, but having someone to confide in and seek advice from on a weekly basis is a lifesaver. Sure, I could talk to my family or friends, but then I’d get unsolicited advice about how I should take it slow with guys, and exercise, and take vitamin D and iron because did you know a lot of us are anemic and we’re not even aware of it, and go to bed earlier and eat less carbs and always use condoms and blah blah blah. Like, an unbiased third party to bounce ideas/terrible decisions off of and who is legally prohibited from telling anyone about them? Sign me up.

I don’t believe any of us are ever fully emotionally realized, because life is too unpredictable. We’re constantly changing—moment by moment. I may wake up hating life and then go to bed hating it more. I may be crying one second and then crying harder the next. I may be hungry at lunch and full but still stuffing my face afterwards. We’re versatile, multifaceted beings, and we are so utterly flawed. So we’re always working on ourselves (ew hate when people say that but couldn’t think of a better way to put it), whether consciously or not. And therapy is conscious work.

Now before you freak out at the prospect of doing work, just take a minute—as you know by now, I am your compadre in hating doing any form of work whatsoever. So trust me, I wouldn’t recommend something that was “work” in the traditional sense. Therapy is not the psychological version of CrossFit; it’s not hard like doing laundry is hard (so hard!), or like pretending to work at work is hard, or like eating cauliflower is impossible hard. Yes, sometimes it is difficult to get through because it involves a lot of introspection and we don’t like what we see at all so much when we look at ourselves. But on the other hand, it’s like a way to get your emotional ducks in a row and seek guidance when you need it (which is ALWAYS because let’s face it we literally have no idea what we’re doing ever). And a way to see things from a perspective other than your own, which is great because undoubtedly you’re wrong in your interpretation of things 110% of the time.

And I’ve been involved with enough people who aren’t in therapy to know that they fucking should be. You’re all a bunch of fucked up narcissists who need to get your shit together. I can’t keep dating guys who have the emotional maturity of a 12-year old before his balls have dropped—they just don’t measure up to my wisdom from Seven Years in Therapy (and counting). Like, get. on. my. LEVEL. I’m not trying to act like I’m so great, but I’m confident that without therapy, I’d have at least 4 more years of wearing sweat wristbands and metal studded belts ahead of me.

And to the people who think you should graduate out of therapy: yes, there is the ethical question to consider (is my therapist keeping me here year after year just to continue making a high hourly rate?). But if you choose a respectable therapist and build a bond with them that’s not like stuck-to-mother’s-teat level co-dependency, it’s beneficial to cultivate that relationship and have it available as a consistent resource. All I’m saying is that if I didn’t have my therapist to help me figure out how to interpret and respond to guys’ texts on a weekly basis, I’d be a severely more dysfunctional person than I already am, which is to say I’d probably be institutionalized on horse tranquilizers under 24/7 observation at place with a name like “Sunnyside Hills Green Pastures on the Horizon Institute for the Mentally Ill-Adjacent and Socially/Functionally/Actually In All Ways Impaired.”

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/necessary-everyone-needs-go-therapy/

As Featured on News Cult: Why I Take Issue with Trainwreck and No Longer Love Amy Schumer

I know I’m late to jump on the Trainwreck, but unfortunately, the night I was supposed to see it in theaters, I was in a bad car wreck (killing it with these puns right now). I finally watched it recently, with high hopes, and was so completely disappointed. I thought Amy Schumer was a new kind of celebrity: one who defies the beauty standards our culture foists on us, one who says a woman’s value is not determined by her body, one who shines a light on the importance of the integrity of one’s mind as opposed to the size of one’s waistline. But, slowly, she’s proven herself to be just another vapid star.

In her Netflix special, Amy Schumer talks about how when she wrote Trainwreck, she imagined a ‘conventionally beautiful’ woman starring in it, but the producers, much to her surprise, wanted her to play the lead role. Which is great. Except that, as she then goes on to say, she was told that in order to get the role, she needed to stop eating. Of course this is a bit of an exaggeration for comedic effect, but she proceeds to talk about how she did, in fact, agree to the demands that she change her appearance to fit the role. She describes how the production got her a trainer and she stopped drinking and dieted. All so that she could pass Hollywood’s checklist for acceptable attractiveness.

Sure, she still wasn’t and isn’t a stick thin model, which she jokes about in virtually every bit of comedy she does, but she caved in to the pressure to fit a certain mold virtually thoughtlessly. She made herself “good enough” to be in her own movie. Like, at no point did it occur to her to say, “Um, no—it’s my fucking movie and I don’t have to look a certain way to be in it. Fuck you and your standards of beauty—I’m not going to do something that is entirely unlike me in order to be accepted by you”? What happened to her irreverent, defiant side? The moment Hollywood called, she decided to ditch it so that she could be a bona fide star? That’s fucking weakness if I’ve ever seen it.

And let’s talk about the character she plays in Trainwreck—the character she wrote. She’s a mess, so she’s relatable. She’s sexually liberated and just trying to stumble through life, following the bad example left by her father and under the influence of probably too much alcohol and too many drugs. That’s all great—no objections there. The problem I have with her mainly crops up towards the end of the movie (although her baby voice is pretty obnoxious throughout—yet another feminine trait adored by the patriarchy—a weak, delicate, whimpering, helpless little mouse squeak). At the end, she completely betrays herself in order to win over a man. She puts on her skimpy cheerleader outfit and does a routine for him, because he likes it. Never mind that prior to that, she mercilessly mocked the same squad of cheerleaders, in the presence of the same man, for being part of the gender inequality problem that plagues our culture.

That ending is honestly sickening. Watching her become the woman her boyfriend approves of so that they can live happily ever after is like a bad joke—that’s the trainwreck in the movie. I found myself recoiling as I watched it, looking around going “is anyone else seeing this??” (even though I was alone). Like, the comedian who talks nonstop, in a self-deprecating but also proud way, about essentially being conventionally unattractive in a world that shames women for being exactly that, turned herself into an endearing, innocent, puppy-like cheerleader who daintily fumbles her way through a bit to show the man she loves that she cares and she’s trying and she ‘wants to make it right.’ VOM. Seriously gag me. I know Schumer was portraying a character in that pathetic scene, but to pretend like this movie isn’t largely autobiographical would be like to deny the Holocaust. Plus, just because it’s a work of fiction doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a social responsibility to play characters that are inspirational and meaningful and deep, not shallow reflections of the messed up roles society and media encourage us to play.

And I wouldn’t have such a problem with her role in Trainwreck if it weren’t a direct contradiction of what she purports to be—I’m not the one imposing the duty to be a strong, down-to-earth  female role model on her—she’s the self-proclaimed, loud and proud feminist who colors outside the lines. If we were talking about Kylie Jenner, I would be like, “Oh, well of course she plays a weak female role. I mean, is the sky blue? Does a cat have a pissy attitude? Is Donald Trump’s hair the best gift we’ve ever been given?” But Schumer is so transparently two-faced in her involvement in Trainwreck that it’s a betrayal of not just feminism, but her act as well. Is it just me or does she reak of hypocrisy?

I mean, it’s bad enough that she publicly endorses Hillary Clinton, one of the more corrupt, greedy, war-mongering politicians in the United States’ recent history (in addition to the Repubs—that’s a given), but now, with Trainwreck, she might as well be the spokeswoman for Barbie, or tapeworm diet pills, or Fox News. As she says to the cheerleaders before she loses her dignity and picks up her own pair of pom poms in the film, she’s “gonna lose us the right to vote.”

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/take-issue-trainwreck-no-longer-love-amy-schumer/

Guy at coffee bar: “I like your nails.”

Me: “Thanks!”

Guy at coffee bar: “And I’m not gay, so you can put it on Facebook: ‘A straight guy liked my nails!'”

Barista: “It’s usually the ones who say they’re not gay who are gay.”

Guy at coffee bar: “Well I am a lesbian.”

Me: “How?”

Guy at coffee bar: “Because I like women.”

Me: “Look, guys, I’m not wearing a bra right now, and my leggings have a giant hole in them, which I’m not sure if you can see, so I’m just really uncomfortable and gonna go…”