Marketing junk food to children is terrible. Marketing junk food to girls is even worse. It may seem like simple syrup fun when you’re young, but take it from one who knows–it takes years to undo those sticky sweet illusions.
My favorite candy growing up was Charleston Chew- its chocolate marshmallow goodness was not only delicious, it was educational, too! It made for excellent temperature experiments: it somehow got even more tasty frozen, and when heated in the microwave, it exploded and broke your mom’s best glassware. But what I didn’t know then was that this sugar high would come crashing down when I’d meet the real Charleston Chew a decade later: the frat boy I dated from South Carolina with a tobacco problem. (He was not sweet, but did explode and break shit when heated.)
It’s sad when reality overrides nostalgia, but it’s inevitable. Girls are raised thinking a “Happy Meal” is something you get at McDonald’s, only to realize it’s just a date that doesn’t end hiding in the bathroom. But even that false advertising is nothing compared to the class action suit I’d like to bring against Hostess for deceiving American children. The hardest thing about the childhood version of a Hostess was licking abnormally hard frosting off of a cupcake. The hardest part about the adult version is fitting all your dirty laundry in the oven, plating the takeout before your guests arrive, and still remembering to hide your antidepressants.
Not. The. Same.
I guess the moral of the story is this: the next time you find yourself cruising the snack aisle, think twice. The food industry has been polluting our bodies and minds with empty calories and empty hopes since we were children. And while you think you may be just one fix away from sugar bliss, it will never be as good as you remember.
Well, with one exception. The juice box still delivers a smile:
Last night some friends and I went to The Happy Village. The Happy Village is great because it serves cheap beer, has an amazing patio, and is typically filled with apathetic hipsters who can’t be bothered to talk to you, so it serves as a safe haven from bad pickup lines.
But of course, I managed to find the outlier. Or rather, he found me. He was wearing a sweatshirt and a backwards Cubs hat, and he looked like he’d been there for the better part of the month. He saw our group of five girls and instantly relocated next to us at the bar.
“’Scuze me ladies. You girls ever heard of the VWF bar?” he asked.
“Yeah, I don’t think it’s very far from here,” I said.
“Well, some buddies and I are gonna go there later for karaoke. If you want to come.” Then he stared straight at my chest, leaned in, and whispered, “Think it over… Just promise me you’ll think it over.”
“They can’t talk,” I said, and turned back to my friends. (I don’t exactly remember what we were debating but I think it was something really important, like why you should give a guy with a flip phone a chance.) Then, all of a sudden out of the corner of my eye, I saw his hand raised in the air.
“’Scuze me. Escuze me ladies. I have a question,” he said.
“Proceed,” I answered.
“I am meeting some buddies later. We’re gonna play poker. You guys should come. And just so you know, I’m not a creep” he said, taking a step backwards to steady himself on his invisible boat. “There will be girls there.”
“I thought you were going to karaoke?” I said.
“I never said that.”
“Oh but you did.”
“You’re druuuunk,” he said with his eyes closed. “I’m going to play poker with some friends. There will be girls there though. I’m not a creep. Just think it over,” he said, this time swaying into the bar. “Think it over.”
In one quick move my friend stepped in front of him blocking him from the conversation. (She’s never worn a uniform in her life, but where bar sports are involved, she’s varsity.)
I leaned over to order another round, and saw his hand in the air again. He was waving it with the intensity of a second grader who had just pounded four Capri Suns and was in desperate need of the bathroom pass. This time he didn’t wait to be called on to ask his question:
“Where is the party headed ladies?” he asked. “You know, I’m going to have some people over later. I have a roof deck with a jacuzzi. You guys should come.” He said, again focusing his stare on my chest and swallowing hard. “If you don’t have bathing suits, that’s ok.”
“You know what?” I said. “While the thought of karaoke strip poker in a jacuzzi with you sounds totally amazing, my boobs and I have been thinking it over, and we think we’d rather poke our eyes out with a PBR, or go home on a 10-speed with a guy with a mustache. So, you should probably just stop talking now. You’re wasting your beer breath.”
He lifted his head, tried hard to focus his blank gaze in the general direction of my face, high-fived me and walked away.
And that Dear Disasters, is how you shake a Stage Five drunk.
Think it over.
As you know, I broke my bed. If I told you this happened in some freak sextastrophe, I would give you a high-five. But I would also be lying. I believe I first heard the distinctive “crack” after flopping backwards onto my bed in a dramatic “I’m too fat to fit in my jeggings” moment. But, like many Disasters, I had no idea how to fix my fractured nap-maker. That’s why I’ve assembled this helpful guide:
How To Fix A Broken Bed Frame
1. Do absolutely nothing. Stay very, very still. Maybe if you just think repair thoughts, it will fix itself.
2. If doing nothing doesn’t work, try doing it longer. Wait 3-4 months and see if this problem self-corrects.
3. If, after several months, you have developed sleeping problems or soreness from sleeping downhill, start to hint around with some of your more handy friends for help. Try something like this: “Love your haircut- it’s super masculine. You look like a guy who knows his way around a hardware store. Do you? Do you know your way around a hardware store?”
4. If that doesn’t work, open your toolkit (also known as your “silverware drawer”). Find an attractive butter knife. Attempt to place it vertically under your sagging box spring with the precision and intensity of a game of strip Jenga. Swear repeatedly.
5. If this fails, well, it’s no wonder: you just tried to fix your bed with a butter knife. Next, try something more sturdy–like books.
Helpful Hint: Be sure to use books that you no longer need, as once these are secured into position they will stay there for as long as that mayonnaise has been in your refrigerator.
This is what I did, and it worked like a dream:
And who said I’d never use those cookbooks?
- No Related Disasters...yet
Here’s a great date idea: It’s Saturday, it’s a beautiful fall day in Chicago, so let’s go sailing! I’ll wear my most favorite Patagonia jacket. You can wear your best Nantucket Reds. We’ll go meet at Belmont Harbor and cruise around on the lake and talk about things that we don’t know anything about, like who has the right of way, and Tibet.
It will be so romantic. We’ll just be outdoorsy and organic. I’ll bring sandwiches on wholewheat bread from the farmer’s market, and we’ll eat them under sail in open water. Can you think of a better day? ME EITHER!
Wow, it’s kind of windy out here, eh? I didn’t think that it would be so choppy. Well, good thing you know how to sail! You don’t mind if I lie down on this bench while you man the ship, do you? I had a couple of glasses of wine last night, and I think maybe I should just take it easy for a second. You can handle that jib stuff on your own, right? Great. You’re such a good sailor!
Oh, no, I’m fine. I just drool a lot on boats.
You know what? I think I’m going to sit up, so I can keep an eye on the “land ahoy, matey!” Yeah, I know I do great pirate voice. Isn’t this fun?!
What do you mean what am I doing? Apparently Lake Michigan is just a humongous vomitorium. What’s that? You think I should have told you I get seasick before we left? I would have, but I didn’t think you were gonna rent the goddamn S.S. Yack n’ Tack… Okay, you need to stop talking, I think I’m gonna…
I don’t care if there’s crusty puke on my chin. A seagull will get it when I finish dying.
Are we back in the marina?! Nice! I must have fallen asleep for a bit.
Ah, terra firma! Watch your step getting off– here, hand me the sandwiches. What a day! Don’t you just love sailing? We have to do this again. Call you tomorrow?
- No Related Disasters...yet
This one goes out to Christine, thanks for sharing this gem. This is an actual questionnaire she received while on match.com, and it’s so unbelievable I’ve just cut and pasted it here, along with my replies (in italics). The email goes like this:
We have been trying to get my boss to give us the OK to register him on here for months. He finally agreed so we can up with the following TEST based on his responses to our questions of what he was looking for. Can you unlock his heart?
Honestly … answer the following questions and score yourself.
1. If you live within 100 miles of Charlotte, Greensboro or Rocky Mount
Score yourself +10 points.
Reason: Although he would be willing to travel to the ends of the earth to find “THE ONE” these NC cities house all his family, sisters and parents. 100 miles from them would make it easy to see family in the years to come.
+10 on location! Mostly because I am willing to relocate for true love, even if it means we’ll have to go on dates in strip malls.
2. If you have a great singing voice
Score yourself + 10
Reason: If you have the voice of an angel, then it will be a constantly reminder that you are a heavenly creature to be loved and cherished.
+10 on voice of an angel for SURE. And for the record, I agree that my singing voice is an important reminder to men that I am a heavenly being who should be cherished, or at least that I’m part Disney princess. People with not-nice singing voices should be locked in the basement during poker nights- that’s what I always say!
3. If all of your children are under 5 …
Score yourself + 10 points
Having no children of his own it would be nice to ingrain some of his own family values in the lives of these children from an early age.
+10 all the way! I have no children (that I know of). I’ve been waiting to meet someone so we can raise them together with strong morals. We’ll impart values like always love thy neighbor, unless thy neighbor is a bitch who plays loud music, and teach them important stuff like never talk to strangers, in-laws, or people who go to the Dollar Store.
4. If you have a job with great medical and dental benefits …
Score yourself +10 points
Reason: Plain and simple, he is self employed and it is impossible for him to get himself or us on a group plan because our company is too small. His insurance is expensive and has a high deductible. Basically he has it for emergency situations or major medical only.
+10!! l do have benefits, and have always believed that true love comes with its own hygienist. Do you believe in fate?
5. If you have adopted black or black & white biracial children.
Score yourself -500 points
Reason: Although he understands that all children regardless of race or nationality need a good home, his parents and family are old school southerners and any mixing of black and white in the family group is frowned upon.
Now, I’ve never dated a racist, so I have to ask–is there any flexibility here? Just hypothetically, at family dinners, could we maybe put his family at the bigots table in the kitchen? This way it’s far away from the kids’ table, and closer to the bourbon. Don’t hate…segregate! Just throwin’ it out there…
6. If you are a NC Tarheel fan
Score yourself +10 points
Reason: He is a graduate of the University of NC and a huge Tarheel fan. It would be nice to share that sports enthusiasm with a fellow Tarheel fan.
10 points! I love the Tarheels, but full disclosure: I like some of the black players, too. Ack! I just hate loopholes, don’t you?
7. If you have or have had a sexually transmitted disease, herpes or AIDS
Score yourself -1000 points.
Reason: He does not have any STD’s and would hope to find someone similar so that together the two of you can explore the full romantic nature of love, intimacy and a sexual relationship.
I can not tell you how happy I am to see this question included in your questionnaire. How often this is overlooked on a first email correspondence! Herpes + AIDS= Things I Super Don’t Want. We have so much in common!
8. If you have had a same sex experience or participated in sex with more than 1 person at a time score yourself -500 points.
Reason: He believes in one man one woman monogamous relationships. He believes that that configuration develops the tightest bond spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically.
I just read that question and I was like, same-sex? Sin. Orgies? Mega-sin. Spiritual bondage? Worst sin ever. No time for sinners or sinny sin sins. Not on my watch. Unless I’m watching them on TV. As Jesus knows, if you watch people doing this sin stuff on TV you do not contract the sin.
9. Excluding an occasional prescription from your doctor, if you have ever tried or used a drug stronger than marijuana.
Score yourself -500 points
Reason: He is a counselor in private practice and has seen the way drugs tear families apart.
He is a counselor?! This is fantastic! Maybe he can hook me up with a little somethin’ somethin’ to help me kick these Sudafed shakes.
Did you answer all questions honestly?
YOU ARE FINISHED.
Now add up your scores.
If you have a score between +10 and +210 we would like to introduce you to our boss to see if there is a “spark”.
After that you guys are on your own … We just want to see him hook up with someone genuine who can appreciate him for who he is. Good Luck!
I would just like to add: please, please pretty please pick me (all of that was said in a southern accent, which you couldn’t hear–just another reason why online dating is so dang hard). I think we’d have so much to talk about. For example, I recently saw this commercial and, well frankly, I don’t know what to think and would love to discuss it with your boss on a porch or something. I know he doesn’t think black people and white people should share “relations” but– what about dining sets? I anxiously await your response and hope to hear from you very soon.
So without further adieu, I introduce my newest favorite obsession, Belle. I like it when a princess can loosen up the corset and get real.
Let’s just say that while I do it often, I hate to fly. I always sit next to people who don’t respect the Arm Rest Demilitarized Zone and I spend the whole flight defending my personal space from germy arm invasion. Between that and the air filters that blast freezing cold cooties at my face the whole time, after long flights I almost always end up sick.
I was blowing my nose outside of the United terminal when my friends pulled up. I was barely inside the car before my friend Bongzo announced, “Guess what?! I finally got my medical marijuana prescription!”
Now, for those of you who are not familiar with SF, getting a marijuana license is as big of milestone as a quinceañera, and it’s celebrated the same way: a big party with lots of food where guests give money to the honoree in return for party favors.
“Congratulations!” I said. “What did they write it for?”
“Glaucoma,” she said, beaming.
As soon as we got home I went back out to the Walgreens for something to help my imploding sinuses. In the decongestant aisle, I picked up a card for Wal-phed (I’d buy Sudafed, but I’m not made of money, people) and followed the instructions to take it to the pharmacy window.
“You don’t keep this on the shelves?” I asked.
“Not in California—just trying to regulate it. Can I see your license?”
“Woah, there must be something way more fun I can be doing with this,” I said, handing over my Illinois ID.
Note to reader: Never make jokes about methamphetamine in a Walgreens on Haight Street. If you do, you may wind up answering a lot of questions from Luis, the pharmacy manager, who will try to count your teeth while you respond. Turns out that while San Francisco gives out weed like beads at Mardi Gras, it takes colds very, very seriously.
After the background check was complete, I paid from my nose spray, Vitamin C drops and Wal-phed and headed home where Bongzo managed to hot box the entire two-floor apartment and I began intense round of nasal flushing.
Oh San Francisco, I’ve missed you.
It begins! This week I’ve received online dating emails from Disasters around the country, and it with great pleasure that I am able to respond. This OKC email was sent to me from a nice lady in Denver:
I am a boy with a small b…I understand in part, at least, natural beauty. Few people notice, fewer still care about, the smell of warm earth underfoot or the scent of the whispering pines borne on the wind… I think my favorite punctuation has become the ellipsis…
I love music….there’s a Joy Division tribute on Youtube, set to a Radiohead song you should probably listen to if you are interested in how music affects me… Here’s it is:
Anyway, let me know if you’d like to chat sometime…I enjoy expressing affection and am very tactile, incredible enthusiasm for this so-called life, my point is…I think we could be a match, but one of the first things I have to find out is what you smell like.
Nice Lady in Denver, here is your response. He is clearly your future-fiance, so be sure to send immediately!
Dear Al Pacino,
At least you’re not a boy with a small “p”! Yes, I agree. You must know what your partner smells like. Did you ever have a sticker book? I had one with more than 200 scratch n’ sniff stickers. Anyway, I’d say I smell like a cross between the pickle one and the pizza one. Does that help?
I’m glad you emailed because it’s clear we have so much in common. I also appreciate the ellipses–grammar’s very own bachelor! Why commit to the end of the sentence when you can just fade out right into the next one? Just make it clear you’re bored, distracted, or can’t find the time to see this syntax through… Sure, at first it’s tough, but do it enough and people will get the idea. Like I always say, ellipses are for men…periods are for women.
I’m definitely interested to know how music affects you, so thanks for sending me this song about suicide. If you’re anything like me, this music makes me want to dance dance dance! It’s going straight to my workout playlist.
Looking forward to meeting you,
Send me your disastrous dating emails. You can submit anonymously through the “ask me anything” tab–or send an email to disasteronheels[at]gmail[dot]com.
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- RT @jgolden3: Sometimes I love the people I work with... other times I hate them. Now is the latter... http://t.co/gxf60mC7 #, 2012/05/03
- The daily verbatim: "Im just looking for a understanding women. I work with Computers. Im stable and well Ground.... http://t.co/q1IWE00l #, 2012/05/03
- @heidiskinner Absolutely! Do not take this lightly. It's the role of a lifetime. #Disasterella #, 2012/05/03
- @gloss48 so good talking to you yesterday. I can't wait to get glamorous. #, 2012/05/03
- @heidiskinner yes! You can be my Disaster Fairy Godmother. It will be easy. I already have the shoes! #, 2012/05/03