Bigger: Not Always Better (A Manifesto)

8 Jan

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As someone who spent her childhood wearing Heartstrings and Gap Kids instead of Old Navy and Limited Too, I consider myself somewhat of a connoisseur of tasteful fashion. I was raised to believe that class could not be blindly bought. Just because your shirt cost more than most people spend on food in a month doesn’t mean that it makes you a member of the upper class; an ill-fitting $200 tube top is just as tacky as one that was pulled from a gutter. If your clothes don’t fit well, you can spend a fortune and still look just as trailer trash as every other poorly dressed blue collar member of society. Tacky miniskirtstragic bedazzled menswear and hooker-esque dresses come in all price ranges, preying on those too stupid to know better from every income level. (If you need clarification on what I’m talking about, simply google Jersey Shore cast member Jenni ‘J Woww’ Farley’s fashion line.)

Tacky isn’t just synonymous will ill-fitting, though. Nothing is tackier than a label whore, except possibly a stupid label whore. You know who you are; the article of clothing itself matters less to you than the tag on the inside. You’d rather have a pair of Burberry sweatpants than the nicest pair of jeans from the Limited, and I always catch you staggering to class from the weight of your books because you’ve refused to trade your teeny Vera Bradley backpack for a sufficiently-sized knapsack from L.L. Bean. You don’t seem to grasp that function and fashion should be harmonious, you never learned to put together a nice outfit because you don’t actually evaluate what you purchase, and it shows. You’re the reason that certain seventies-carpet-yellow-colored clearance items are eventually purchased, and everyone seems to know it but you. STOP IT. 

While I don’t advocate tackiness in any sense, I vastly prefer the blatant tastelessness of those I described in the beginning to that of the label-obsessed idiots. The J Wowws, Kim Kardashians, and Paris Hiltons of the world tend to operate in a completely different sphere from me, but the girls who buy ugly things from nice brands tend to gravitate towards those who are actually doing it right. These badly-dressed clingers aren’t just a public eyesore, they’re a personal nuisance. 

First off, buying something just because it was sold by a certain designer doesn’t make it, or you, cute or classy. I may feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven every time walk into a J. Crew, but that doesn’t mean that I’m automatically going to buy out the entire store. Some things don’t fit my body right, some colors were a tragic mistake on the part of the designers, and- though I’d never admit it to the Cinader family- some of the things for sale are just plain tragic

Secondly, there seems to be this misconception among these particular hanger-ons that the more obvious the label is, the better it is. This is the farthest thing from the truth. Nothing is tackier than watching some misguided young wannabe parade around with a giant polo stamped on her chest, letters spelling out Juicy or Pink splayed across her ass, and the word ‘Coach’ scrawled all over her handbag in various sizes and glittery fonts. It baffles me as to how anyone can put this kind of ensemble together, glance in the mirror, and decide that the overall result is a positive one. 

Just a few weeks ago, I was browsing the MetroCenter Macy’s in Washington, D.C. for a new set of tech gloves (which, for those who haven’t hopped on that bandwagon yet, are the greatest invention known to modern man). While trying on a pair, I overheard a gaggle of teenagers debating the merits of Coach versus Dooney and Bourke. 

“I like Coach better,” one of them was saying, “because like, you can always tell when it’s a Coach purse. Like, you can’t even tell that these are DB unless you like look at the tag!”

This girl, who is clearly a label whore and destined to live her life as a miserable bottom-tier sorostitute and overlooked housewife, perfectly voiced the nouveau-riche mentality that leads to this kind of tackiness. This assumption that no one will be able to tell how expensive something is without some sort of in-your-face visual aid shows naivete and a lack of finesse. They’re the reason designers like Ralph and Tommy even put these huge logos on things- they may be idiots who have proven that even an AmEx platinum can’t help them dress well, but they now represent a large, tacky market that needs filling. It’s a travesty.

 I can spot a good pair of Tory Burch flats from a mile away, and identify the difference between a pair of Joe’s jeans and a pair of Citizens without any names visible, because classy things are nice, they fit well, and they look good. I would advise you to learn to do the same, or risk becoming the worst kind of tacky. Happy shopping!

On Tequila Shots

17 May

Tequila is a sneaky bastard. I was sitting with my roommate in a bar once, and watched as all the tequila shots he took hit him like a freight train, all at the exact same moment, about thirty minutes after he had stopped drinking entirely. This is either a very good thing, or a very bad one. On the good side of things, you can pregame for something and not have it hit you until all the non-pregamers are drunk as well. On the bad side of things, though, is my least favorite word- underestimation. We’ve all done it- thought we were in control until about three shots too many. This is usually when things go the most wrong, generally because you are about fifty shades of tragically drunk. Use this to your advantage, though, and you may discover why tequila wasn’t banned years ago.

FIRST, USE IT TO FIND YOUR LIMIT. Most tequila shots are done too close together, by overeager young sorostitutes thinking one shot is as potent as the next. The bad news? This means you’ll probably overindulge on the Sauza. The good news? Whatever you did that pushed you over the edge with tequila is probably just right for literally every other liquor in existence.

THEN, USE IT TO ACE A CLASS. Tequila is like the prom queen of alcohol- you may hate it, but it’s surprisingly awesome and multifaceted. Regardless of your major, there IS something about tequila that you can use to further your education. For me? Tequila has some unique laws regarding regulation and distribution. It’s fun to read about, and nothing sells a presentation more than starting off with a hooking anecdote about overindulging on your presentation topic.

FINALLY, USE IT WISELY TO ABSOLUTELY LOVE LIFE. Mexicans aren’t batshit crazy, nor do they have a death wish every time they choose to do shots. Tequila may be a sneaky bitch, but outsmart her and it’ll literally be the most fun drunk experience of your life. Everyone is affected by tequila vastly differently from any other form of liquor… It makes for the best parties.

The Pros and Cons of Taking A Foreign Language (other than French or Spanish)

24 Apr

Chances are, my friend, if you attend any kind of normal university- you’re going to have to take at least two semesters of a foreign language. And no, Kappa Sigma pledge… that does not mean you can take Spanish I, make an A, and then re-take it two years later. Two semesters, levels one-then-two, of all the best things about college- confusion, conjugations, and the pursuit of the perfect excuse to get you out of that class up until the week before finals. Of course, the most popular languages to take are the romance languages- easily conjugated, almost all the same letters as the English Alphabet, and the newfound (though usually misguided) confidence in your ability to ‘bag it’ or ‘make him sweat’. For those brave enough to consider taking one of your school’s other, more difficult languages, though… here are some pros and cons of following through in your wildly uncommon pursuit of rarely-spoken fluency.

PRO: It’s something fun to use when showing off to people you want to show off for. Generally, whether it’s in front of pledges or your new girlfriend’s parents, delightedly rattling off ‘hi, my name is’ in literally any language BUT English, Spanish, or French makes you sound eight million times more interesting. This is a fact.

CON: You probably won’t learn much more than how to introduce yourself. Unless you’re actually one of those people who wants to learn a foreign language, you’re not going to gain anything useful from the class.

PRO: There’s no other class to be compared to, so you’ll probably get a good grade. Remember that one English class you took in high school where the teacher constantly compared everything you did to another class period? If your class is rare enough, you’re the only class period… and therefore less likely to get lower grades out of exasperation or unfair comparisons. You’re also more likely to get the only professor, so you can’t end up with the only mean Profesora out of the twenty or so your school has hired.

CON: Since you’re the only class, you’re much more likely to end up with that one professor on campus who doesn’t speak a word of english. Remember when I mentioned earlier how little you’ll learn? Most likely, your professor treated English class the same way. Say goodbye to effective levels of communication for the next fifteen weeks, because literally everything you say is going to get lost in translation.

On explaining away supposed alcoholism

19 Apr

So before anything gets rolling here, I feel I need to explain away the name of my blog- as well as my username, if we’re being nitpicky. For all you self-righteous evangelical coots masquerading as college students an frowning upon my blatant reference to underage alcohol consumption, I wish I could tell you to take your comments somewhere dark and not fit for mixed company- but, sadly, the name has very little to do with

Balling So Hard

and more to do with… Well… Academia. Let me explain-

As anyone who’s attended an institution of higher learning for more than a fortnight can truthfully tell you, every single college student will, at some point, hit rock bottom. This is the point where said coed will look around at his or her life and truly just want to burst into tears- you’re on so much adderall you don’t remember what food tastes like, and you haven’t even had a chance to Netflix HIMYM to unwind in God knows how long. Your coffee table is overrun with snotty napkins, half-assed (and half-completed, really) assignments, and dirty dishes with remnants of whatever morsels of nothing you’ve managed to choke down at some point over the last two weeks. Your hair is clean only because you stay up so late studying, your days combine and you actually have enough time to shower. You have coerced yourself into believing this is a better state to live in than the simply extremely stressed ‘undeclared major’ asshole across the hall, since you are not only more awake, but clean. This is not true, though- you are, in reality, living on literally nothing but amphetamines and willpower. You manage to continue on this downward spiral of self-destruction and ineffective pursuit of knowledge for as long as you can, but eventually you realize- this has to stop. You are actually at the lowest point you could possibly reach, short of dropping out or actually taking one too many Tylenol and dying of liver failure. The time has come to rejoin the living, no matter how far behind you still are- and this is where I come in.

Of course, upon deciding to embark on a journey of self- improvement and healthy recovery, there’s always that tricky little footnote- getting from point 6 feet below A to point B is a lot harder than it looks. I’m here to tell you how it’s done. (Of course, I shan’t disclose whether or not I know so much about living at the bottom of the prodigal hill of life because I’ve ever spent time there… But you do the math.) From sharpie-ing #YOLO on your forehead and heading off to the local bar to karaoke away your problems to sitting down and doing something inane like folding laundry, I’ve got all the tips and tricks to passing Orgo without passing out… Too many times.

I can’t make any promises… But I can try my best to prevent as many overachieving future fratstars and philosophy students from being harmed as possible.

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