Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New Friends May Come and Go but Awkwardness Lasts Forever

Now how exactly do you make friends in college? As I'm going to a school that disregards the universally followed semester schedule I've taken to reading facebook quite extensively in the extra two weeks that I have on my hands. All of my friends facebook statuses resound with the same ebullient "I love College" declaration. Now besides giving me an unwelcome memory of an Asher Roth song, these statuses reiterate to me that I am not in college. The pictures of their new dorms, their wall posts about their annoyingly long homework assignments and early lectures seem completely foreign to me, like they're speaking a different language that I am trying hastily to translate (come to think about it this situation shares a striking resemblance to my french class). But mostly through by voyeurism I see how seamlessly they've made friends. Now my social skills aren't the most finally tuned instrument in the band room. I know, shocking right, considering my witty and charming disposition. But I'm really just not that friendly. Because who really wants to come across as that annoying, over eager, super cheerful girl? I mean that's usually the type of person I make fun of. I rarely even make friend requests on facebook because I don't want to come off as too eager or a person who check facebook constantly (albeit I have been doing just that in the last couple of days). Facebook, it seems, has been a breeding ground for pre-college friends yet I recoil from this form of friend making. Wouldn't it be pushy and a bit creepy to friend someone or write on their wall just because we're both in the Northwestern 2013 group? Yet I don't think my "eradicate eagerness" tactic is really going to be beneficial in this scenario. Of course I am going to try to force friendliness on my usually subdued temperament but how do I attain this without becoming pushy or scaring little children, or myself for that matter? Someone once told me that I was a bit of a loner and I'm starting to believe them. I mean I'm not going to pull a Salinger and move away to New Hampshire or anything but I just don't make friends that easily. Throughout high school I made a handful of great friends. And that was in place where I was reasonably comfortable and familiar with my surroundings. Which brings up another unnerving question.

Where exactly do you find these friends? Are they in your classes or your dorm or the clubs you join? How do you go about making friends in classes? I imagine there's no time to have a conversation while the teacher is giving a lecture and striking up a conversation about your interests in life in between your professors breaths about Tolstoy may just attract dirty looks. And what if the people in your dorm aren't exactly complementary to your character. Which seems like another hurtle. How do you go about making the right friends and not just ones for convenience sake. People say that they've made their best friends by chance. But what are the odds that you end up dorming next to your potential platonic soulmate or bump into them on the way to the dining hall? And this may be just be my paranoia but I think people get intimidated by me. And as much as I like to think it's because of my undeniable intelligence or my stunning good looks I think it's actually because of my name. People actually get scared of pronouncing my name wrong. Which is now that I think about it is understandable. When you pronounce someone's name wrong it's probably a bit disconcerting. Throughout my 13 years of public education teachers rarely called on my the first week. Mainly I think it was because they were apprehensive of saying my name. Now eventually people will become comfortable with my name. Though the usual curious/confused, wide eyed look on people's faces when I first introduce myself is to be expected, the obstacle isn't insurmountable. But do I really need another injury in my already handicapped friend making abilities? Hopefully I will make friends like a normal, socially balanced freshman. If not, well than at least I will be comforted knowing that New Hamshire isn't too far away.
On a Side Note: Aren't the outfits that the students are wearing the in picture just 80's-tastic?

Friday, August 28, 2009

What Rubbish!

We all love the serious implications that fashion holds. We love hearing how Vera Wang's collection was actually a reference to the Bolshevik revolution and how Dior's expertly crafted dresses were actually inspired from Madame Butterfly. Fashion is said time and time again to be rooted in world much deeper than the planet of cocktail dresses. It is said that fashion acts as art history, a cultural meterstick of our times, a way to connect our vanity with self reflection. This is all very moving and touching but there are some days when you want to cut the Fidel Castro speech and exclaim, "People, they're just clothes." For those days there's rubbishmag.com which is like fashion's cheeky, flippant cousin that reveals all the silliness that is weaved into fashion's dignified seams. Because when you strip away the bombastic adjectives and the cerebral analysis fashion is just a whole lot of fun.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Absence Makes the Heart go Fonder

Well atleast I hope so. I know I have been MIA on the blogging circiut as of late. But now that I have my laptop posts will become much more frequent. I hope I haven't lost the handful of readers that I had. Becauase well there's nothing sadder than a girl talking to herself. Until than I offer a peace offering in the form of a beautful Richard Avedon photograph

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Braless Revisited

To me the word braless is usually synonymous with Hedi Montag and wardrobe malfunctions (which coincidentally are tantamount to each other). Yet when Bottega Veneta did a version of this "loose" way of dressing it came off as erotic yet tasteful. When flipping through ads in a magazine I stopped and glanced twice at the Bottega Veneta spread. There was something almost carnal about it that dared you to look twice. The girls in the spreads looked in control and refined yet suggestive and cheeky. In the words of Harry Potter "mischief managed."

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Lady of the Pink City

I first remember reading about Gayatri Devi in 7th grade in a profile of her in Departure Magazine. She was the embodiment of everything that a young girl imagines a princess to be. She was beautiful and refined yet not completely tangible. It was almost as if she was ethereal somehow, leading a life that has long since rusted away in fairy tale books, unable to be fully captured through a story or a picture. They say that her wealth was "beyond imaginable" with a childhood filled with exotic adventures. According to a New York Times article, Devi shot her first panther when she 12, had a flock of trained parrots that could ride bicycles and pet turtles that had emerald encrusted shells.
Despite her lavish life, which included shopping sprees at Harrods, Devi was not resented by the public for her extreme wealth and beauty. Unlike Queen Marie Antoinette and the Duchess of Devonshire who were ridiculed by there subjects for their ostentatious nature Devi symbolized a beacon of hope for women of lower castes. She created a school for young girls in Jaipur that focused on eradicating the traditional notion that girls should be uneducated and take purdah. Devi led the life of a traditional princess yet reached her hand out to get a firmer grasp in her surroundings. She was elected in Parliament 3 times and spend 5 months in jail.
People often said that Devi was memorizing. With her French perfume and shimmering saris Devi was a socialite, splitting time between New York, London and Jaipur and entertaining the likes of Jackie O. Vogue voted her one of the top ten most beautiful women in the world. Yet this beauty was just as closely associated with Devi as it was with her city of Jaipur. And to me that is what is really alluring about Devi, her city. With it's beautiful palaces and ornate jewelry it seems like anyone could be a princess there, that everyone could live in a state of opulence. An opulence not defined by designer handbags but by a rich history. In Jaipur it seems that one gets a feeling of magnificence, a feeling that one cannot receive in a Waldorf Historia. It is a feeling of a culture, of a life that is hanging somewhere between obscelence and modernity. When Maharani Devi left our world a few days she left with us a city that is the one of the last of its kind, quite like Devi herself .

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Price of Being Wise

Oh the price of being wise
It's not so nice
I look like a chipmunk

The medicine puts me in a weird funk

I don't think my doctor was very good

He didn't do the things he should

I miss solid food

And I'm developing a bit of an attitude

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Where in the World is Azzedine Alaia?

Where in the World is Azzedine Alaia? Not in the spreads of Vogue or on the runways of Fashion Week that's for sure. Every time I would come across his name an interest would spark. Here was a designer who was one of the emblems of 80's fashion and known as the master of female form yet you couldn't look at works on style.com or search his name in WWD.

Alaia is one of the last couturiers of the old world, a world of Cristobal Balenciaga and Christian Dior. A world where strong relationships were forged with clients and models, a world where the designer had a hand in every seam, a world not so binded by commercial success. One of the reasons why Alaia is so enigmatic is because he doesn't design on the protocol schedule. He doesn't design for seasons instead he only designs when he is truly inspired, inspired he says, by the evocation of certain materials. In an age where muses are diluted among celebrities Alaia keeps his close, his strongest supporters such as Naomi Campbell and Stephanie Seymour refer to him as Papa. It is to be said that Alaia's house at any time of day is always filled with artists and he is known to have one the greatest haute couture collections in the world. His clothes, his life and his aesthetic seem to be steeped in some other world, a world richer, saturated with more culture.

Known as the "King of Cling" Alaia, who studied sculpture is said to make clothes that flatter the women body, unparalleled to anyone another designer. It is strange that in a time where fall runways are filled with Alaia influenced designs his name is absent from mainstream fashion. His clothes are rarely featured in Vogue nor are any of his work featured in the "Model as Muse" exhibition, despite the fact that Alaia is known for having a particularly strong relationship with models from Tatjana Patitz to Campbell. He blames this absence on Anna Wintour who also rarely features his clothes in editorials.

So where is he? Tunisia? Paris? His clothes seem mysteriously to be appear at Barney's every so often and people are known to collect his clothes as treasured pieces of art. Alaia seems more elusive than Carmen herself who, with her red trench coat and matching fedora is pretty easy to spot. Yet I guess when your clothes are so beautiful you really don't have to be center stage to get the recognition you deserve.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Women Behind the Bangs

The September issue, a documentary by R.J Cutler follows Anna Wintour and her team for nine months as they construct and deconstruct the September issue of Vogue. The question on many people's mind's is why now? Why after so many years of mystique and carefully constructed enigma is Anna Wintour opening her glass doors to the media. Could it perhaps be to tether the rumors of Carine Roitfield replacing her as editor in chief? Or could it perhaps be to bring the spark back into Vogue? The spark that many critics have lamented has been extinguished at Vogue along with its avant-garde edge. Well Maureen Callahan of the New York Post seems to think that these to occurrences are not just a matter of a timely coincidence.

It should be interesting to see how this documentary, shot in 2007, will fit in today's less than opportune economic and journalistic climate. As magazines are closing down their publications how will the "September Issue" compare with the actual September issue of 2009. A dearth of advertisers and profit will make this upcoming September issue a couple of thousand of Lanvin dresses difference. Yet whether you view Wintour as a dictator or messiah of fashion, a creative genius or a clinical businesswomen, a fashion enabler or anorexia advocate one thing is for certain, the September Issue displays Anna Wintour as one intimidatingly powerful women in tough skin. And I'm not just talking alligator.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cult Lit

Browsing though the book store you will come across chick lit ( anything with pink stilettos and/or martinis), lad lit ( anything by Tucker Max or Maddox) and Cult Lit. Many subdivisions of pop culture have donned the label of "Cult Status" from Fight Club (before they started showing it on Fx every weekend) to the Rocky Horror Picture show to virtually anything with Edward Norton. Yet it's not just the provoking dialogue or the moving metaphors that make people attracted to these Cult items, they also serve as a tool of superiority. A way of feeling a cut above the less esoteric masses. Yet just because something isn't transgressive fiction or a Kurt Vonnegut novel doesn't mean it isn't worthy of acquiring the ever so elusive legion of cult followers. So if your getting sick of watching Trainspotting, here are three books, in my so humble/self indulgent opinion (I do have a blog after all) that I think deserve a shot in the not-so-obscure hall of fame.

1. Youth in Revolt: the Journals of Nick Twisp by C.D Payne: It's part Catcher in the Rye and part Confederacy of the Dunces. Nick Twisp is precocious, smart and has just the right amount of self deprecation to make this book funny, awkward and realistic.

2. King Dork by Frank Portman: If you've ever seen someone with a "Sam Hellerman is a Genius T-shirt" they probably know what I'm talking about. Don't let the YA label turn you off, this funny and almost painfully realistic novel is, as a fellow reader states, perfect for those of us who are "still mourning the cancellation of Freaks and Geeks."

3. Stuff White People Like by Christian Lander: Okay so this isn't technically a work of a literature and majority of people have already read it but in case you haven't you should go out and buy yourself a copy, prefebaly on your way to Whole Foods while listening to NPR in your car.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ice, Ice, Baby

Picture this: It's January and snowing in Moscow and you're walking across the Red Square to the Saint Basil's Cathedral. As the image is taking shape somewhere in the walls of your mind what exactly do you picture yourself wearing? Is it a luxurious wool skirt topped with a bright red cashmere turtleneck along side over the knee boots and a fur caplet? Or, is it a sweatshirt elegantly juxtaposed with snow pants and Ugg boots? Even in our most nebulous dreams (I bet a lot of us pictured this scene without even knowing what the Red Square looks like) our mind meticulously chooses our wardrobe for that particular moment (if you've never pictured yourself walking along the Champs-Elysées in a beret than you are just depriving yourself.) Yet our mind does not actively take in the windchill factor (a skirt in a Russian winter?) in these moments of delusional reverie, but the question is should they?

In photographs across the blogosphere (The Satorialist and Garance Dore for example) you see pictures of youths in Berlin in punkish streetwear, refined ladies in Moscow in skirts and elbow length gloves and Parisian coquettes in ankle booties and a bodycon dress. Despite the fact that it's winter, these nameless subjects dress for there mood. The weather plays a key role in the process but not the sole role. It is more of an adviser than a dictator. Which is why I find people's response of my going to Northwestern slightly surprising. I think at least everyone who I've told that I'm going to Northwestern has elicited a response similar to "You know, Chicago get's really cold!" I used to believe that my irritation to these predictable responses was just part of extensive collection of neuroses, like the way I can't stand people touching my hair or my utter aversion to feet. But I have recently found out that I am not alone, on Facebook there is a whole group (case in point, they really do serve cathartic purposes) devoted to my neuroses felicitously titled "Yes damit, I KNOW Chicago gets really cold, now shut the hell up about it!" Now these meterologist-esque and informative responses seem to be perfectly acceptable segways to a conversation, except when they go on how it gets so blood freezing cold that the winter becomes dreadfully unbearably, that one must stay inside most of the times wearing Northfaces and Ugg boots perpetually.

Now this is where my irritation starts to turn to a light simmer. I mean must cold weather be synonymous with the "It's Sunday and I've got a the flu" outfit? Can't there be a balance between the ever famous duo of fashion and function? According to a former U Chicago student and a present Michiganite resident the answer is no. Upon asking my cousin if wearing skirts with tights was pushing it in the winter, she started to laugh. She looked at me seriously and said, "Heba, if you dress like that in Chicago you will die." This to me sounds like an exaggeration. I mean how do those statuesque Russian residents dress so elegantly while strolling through St. Petersburg? I bet Anna Karenina wasn't wearing a Puffy Coat and a face mask that's for sure.

Photo Credit Photo Credit
Now which one would you choose?

To me it seems like a question of mind over matter. Wearing a skirt with wool cable knit tights doesn't seem completely ludicrous to me. But from the bemused looks I was receiving from my cousin and my sister you would think that I was suggesting making snow angels in hotpants. If Anna Karenina can dress alluringly in a Russian winter than I think we all have the potential to, even in the windy city. After relaying these thoughts to my cousin she said, "It's going to be Chicago vs. Heba and Chicago's going to kick your ass." And well, I can't say that I'm not excited for that face off.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Well, My Therapist Told Me...

When people get frustrated, infuriated and pushed to their limit what do they do? Back in the olden times people would complain to an ear in the nearest vicinity, deface public property and passionately march in rallies and protests. What do people do now? Create Facebook groups of course. You didn't need to hold up and anti war poster to join the eloquently titled "Bush is a F***** Idiot group" nor do you ever need to donate food to join the "Feed a child with one click" group.

Yet Facebook groups have a unifying effect, they give people that "so we're really not alone" feeling. Now you know that you're not the only one who flips their pillow to get to the cool side and thinks that Dora the Explorer is an illegal immigrant. Not only do Facebook groups unite people with their common cyberspace kinsman but they also make people feel angry about happenings that they never consciously knew bothered them. I mean, I never knew that I wanted to "Punch slow people walking in the head" until I joined the group, nor did I ever consciously recognize my wrath for crocs until I affirmed with millions of others that "Crocs make you look like a dumbass." Just like a therapist, Facebook groups bring out pent up emotions, the struggles and inner demons that we battle with everyday, whether it be our yearning for 90'a Nickelodeon or our fuck this, I'm transferring to Hogwarts attitude. So the next time you have the uncontrollable feeling to punch that elderly lady in the walker in the back of her head don't blame on your anger issues. Simply explain to the elderly lady that you're working on your dark childhood with your cyberspace therapist, on your way to the ambulance that is.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

Immigrants Returning Home

Oh America, the home of Hemingway, airplanes and reality television. At one time it was also the birthplace of boat shoes, seersuckers and button down oxfords. It seems though that these elements of Prepdom have migrated to land far away, becoming warmly welcomed immigrants to Japan. The New York Times ran a a very interesting article on how the WASP uniform has become oh so very Japanese. After it's outburst in the 80's Preppiness in America has been viewed as boring, cookie cutter and circumscribed to a certain stratosphere in class. Yet according to Coleman, the Japanese have embraced our thrown ot style and worn in it extremes, from head to toe with vivacity. And well it doesn't look boring or unoriginal on them.

Looking at the photographs in the 1960's Japanese book "Take Ivy" is almost surreal. It's strange to see college kids dressing so thoughtfully and put together. But the paradox is that though the outfits seems polished and orchestrated they seem simultaneously unassuming and nonchalant as their owners walk across the lush green lawns. And I guess that's the appeal of the sartorially preppy way of life. There is this innocence and naivete to it but at the same time a security. While the leather pants and the bomber jackets may make us feel like we are living life on the edge we feel safe and secure buttoned down in our collar shirt and madras shorts. I guess the streamlined clothes make us in turn view life more simplistically, or as simplistically as clothes can make us feel. In these times the decadence of the 80's nightlife is coming back, with neon colors and exaggerated silhouettes. But as the one side of the fashion rope pulls the other side must as well. Which is the prep style is coming back into play with brands like the Band of Outsiders and magazines such as Prepidemic. Both of these looks provide us with an escape but with two entirely different mindsets. Seeing pictures of the preppy collegiate students one gets a sense of confidence that is entirely different from the 80's nightlife look. A confidence that everything will be fine, that life is always peachy through Rayban wayfarers. So take out your boat shoes and your navy blue blazers, the immigrants are finally returning to their homeland.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wilde 'N Out

Usually when I think of the of the word Oscar visions of packaged cold cuts come to mind. Yet even though Oscar Wilde does not have a snazzy commercial about B-O-L-O-G-N-A he stays in the forefront of my mind with his everlasting supply of witticism. Here are a few that I particularly love:

"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination. " (pshh what's a little credit card debt? Imagination is priceless after all).

"It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious."

"A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction. " (You know a man is clairvoyant when he can predict the face of botox).

"Only the shallow know themselves."

"I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying. " (Alas, it is a curse, but we must learn to live with it.)

"I like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world." (Perez Hilton's motto)

"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone elses opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast." (The self justification for the not-morning- people across the globe, of beds .)

"The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about." (The philosophy of rehab bound, African baby adopting celebrities everywhere.)

"Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about. "

Now even though Oscar Wilde was imprisoned, ridiculed for his dressing sense and accused for having an affair with an underage boy toy you must admit, the man's got style.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"I am always thinking 'What am I doing here? Is this the way I am supposed to feel?'" - Jack Kerouac

I'm always thinking this. I always feel like I am not feeling enough of something, that I am not taking advantage of the situation for all it's worth. It's almost as if you're worried that you are not as happy or sad as you should be. My last day of high school was in a word, anticlimactic. I wasn't severely happy nor was tear stained depressed. The indifference of it all made it seem unreal, like I was a spectator watching someone else's life.

" I always thought that I was more half-there than all-there – I always suspected that I was watching TV instead of living life. People sometimes say that the way things happen in movies is unreal, but actually it’s the way things happen in life that’s unreal. The movies make emotions look so strong and real, whereas when things really do happen to you, it’s like watching television – you don’t feel anything."

This little insight from Andy Warhol encompasses how I often feel at those rising moments, at how I felt today. Maybe it just hasn't sunk in yet, maybe the surreality of it all is causing the numbness. When I was looking around the field I felt I was watching a teen movie with cheesy dialogue and actors that couldn't quite deliver the ending. All throughout high school I was plagued by an inadequacy. A feeling that something about me just wasn't enough for the environment, that my inability to saturate into all the colors made me perpetually a couple of steps behind. And to me this is what high school has always been defined as, a wait of some sort. Yet it is not the type of wait where you are resting but the type where you are running, where you are trying to catch up to some point of complete saturation encased in ambiguity.

I cannot lie and say the cliched line of "I had a horrible time in high school." Because a select group of people I have met have made it all the worth while. Through them I have gained a confidence and a self possession that you really can only obtain from your peers. And though them I have felt as if I have asserted and solidified my character into something that wasn't so familiar and comforting as family. I have spent 13 years at this school and there's no denying the fact that the people and the school always will be a large and news 12 spotted part of my youth. But I'm tired of running in the wait. These past years I will keep in my body like an appendix, something I once needed but have evolutionary outgrown. I guess it's fitting that today was anticlimactic because after a climax everything goes downhill, and well, I'm kind of looking up from here.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Just for a couple of days.

P.S. Doesn't this photograph make you want to learn photography?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Scaredy Cats Anonymous

They say that "the brave may not live forever but the cautious do no not live at all." Well if that's the case than I haven't lived for about 15 years since the last time I remember not being fearful or cautious was at the tender age of three. I was the girl on the playground who didn't pump her legs on the swings because she was afraid of going too high, the girl who would avoid the jungle gym for fear of heights (and lack of upper body strength but that's besides the point). Hell, if you gave me a red wig and violet rectangular glasses I could well as be Chuckie Finster.

I must admit, it's not an easy life for us Scaredy Cats, everything becomes more worrisome, more complicated, normal proceedings become obstacles, things to endure rather than enjoy. It's not to say that scaredy cats don't have fun, it's just more of a process. And if fear is my addiction than clothes are like my nicotine gum. They take the edge off. Despite the fact that I am fearful, cautious and calculating to a tee I garner no apprehensions on what people will say about my outfits of choice. Sartorially speaking, I don't fear sticking out in the crowd . Which from a logical standpoint goes against everything I stand for. With clothes I am not cautious or fearful. I am clear thinking, decisive and strong minded. Even though I do not agree with many of the supeheros' outfits of choice (underwear as outwear? head to toe leather? capes in general?) I understand the empowerment of the costume. Batman didn't wear latex leather just to show off his hot bod nor did Superman wear visible underwear to just attract the ladies (though I'm sure those were top priorities). The function of these costumes was to transform them into another person, a more concentrated version of themselves. So even though I am not a superhero, at times I can identify with their fearlessness. It's almost as if the fabric acts upon me like a spider bite, transmuting me into a caricature of myself. Because even though by nature I am timid and shy, when I put those clothes on my body I become more confident and less contrived. It's as if in one area of my life I'm not thinking of what everyone else's reaction will be. For once, I'm just thinking about myself.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Fear Factor

I always find it funny/interesting when people reveal their fears. Some times their confessions are poignant but in most cases they're just downright bizarre. I don't know if this is because I am horribly insensitive or if it's because people tend not to reveal their truly frightening fears to a girl with a notebook. Here are some of the fears I was able to weasel out of people:

  • " Horses, they are like these reptilian dragons without wings."
  • " Mediocrity."
  • " Dumb people, I'm afraid about what they will do or say. It's embarrassing."
  • " Getting old. It's inevitable and really depressing to think about not existing."
  • "Compromising my integrity to do something I wouldn't have done in the first place."
  • "Doctors."
  • "Thinking I'm making the wrong choice. That I will hate school and my roommate. To think that your life could turn out completely different if you just make the other turn instead, but the thing is you don't know which turn is the right one to take."
  • "Becoming a suburban soccer mom."
  • "Bad dreams, it's like your mind has put you in this torture chamber and you are helpless to get out."
  • " Miss Hannigan, the orphanage owner from the movie Annie. For the longest time I thought she was going to steal me away from my parents."
  • "Not being able to get out of a bad trip."
  • "Rejection. Failure. Inadequacy."
  • "Animals attacking your face."
  • " Rita and Lord Zed from the Power Rangers."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Three Little Myths

Greek Mythology will forever be ingrained in the brain of my sixth grade self. Yet my memories of Zeus and Athena need not be confined to the company of Junior High Dances and unsightly teeth misalignments. Greek myths focus on gods and goddesses. These fabled illusions of perfection that graced the pages of our Language Arts textbooks have also found their way into our everyday life. For don't we all create idealized conceptions of normalcy, of our ourselves even? Most people don't want to completely change themselves, they just want to be a more enhanced, flawless, barely recognizable version of themselves. It seems that, sartorially speaking, our world at large has created three myths of perfection. These myths are the individuals we wish we could be. These myths are broken down into 3 distinct categories one of which most of the female population identifies and/or envies. According to our specified tastes we choose one of these ethereal figures to clandestinely and unconsciously model ourselves after. It's like asking yourselves what's your favorite ice cream flavor is. So what flavor of myth are you?

1. The Whimsical Quirksters: The object of envy for the free spirited among us. These creatures of whimsy seem to have been dressed by little birds in the morning. They attract envy for their dresses that seem to float away from them, their hair that is perfectly windblown and their cheeks that suggest that they have just been running through a field of flowers five minutes before. Not as cliched as the infamous bohemian, quirksters have a life filled with thrift shopping, organic food and usually some niffty hobby life photography or indie folk music. Ah if only all of us could be like Zooey Zeschanel.

2. The Night Life Kids: An abundance of tight rompers, leather pants and generally anything from Alexander Wang seem to be synonymous with these rebels without a cause. These individuals are the ones that every buttoned up librarian type secretly wants to be. A look perfected by models, a la Kate Moss, this look just seems to be simply put, cool. I mean how else could black eyeshadow, unkempt hair and under eye circles (especially under club lighting) look so good?

3. The Sophisticated Urbanites: With their meticulously coiffed hair, refined clothing and extensive knowledge of art, music and food these mythological creatures can be a bit awe inspiring if not intimidating. You may witness them at a wine tasting, a gallery opening, or in some erudite conversation about foreign cheeses but they always seem to unruffled and polished. To put in more complex terms, they have their stuff together, a stark contrast to that broccoli cheddar stain on your sweater. I guess you missed a spot.

And we all thought Athena was the pinnacle of perfection.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hey Bully!

Oh I don't think I could ever forget what I looked like in middle school. I was a fairly breathtaking figure with eye brows that could rival any Russian man's, hair that's geometric shape was taken from the Egyptian pyramids and clothes that hung away from my lank little frame as if it rejecting any association with my body. I was a vision of awkwardness.

I took this little saunter down the rather-not- remember lane during a certain conversation in math class. My friend was discussing the latest episode of the Tyra Show (the stimulator of all intellectual conversations) which concerned the hazing between popular and unpopular girls at high school. I asked her "So were you a bully when you were younger?" Her affirmative response triggered me to questioned a variety of people about their browbeating past. Their responses certainly surprised me for they lied at extreme ends of the spectrum. It seemed like it was either bully or be bullied. Now I'm not referring to the take your lunch money type of bullying but moreover the let's make fun of your magic school bus sweatshirt type of bullying. I wondered what triggered these reformed aggressors. Traits like popularity, wealth and domineering physique are the commonly accepted notions . Obviously these stereotypes are superficial but they do hold clout in certain analysis since their is a certain confidence that is associated with these traits and a certain confidence is needed for bullying. But what exactly makes someone a bully? As someone who was on the other side of the predator-prey relationship I have made some of my own theories:

1. It's genetic: Is it just me or does popularity/bully-esquenss run in the family? As someone who has an older sister who went to the same exact schools as I did it seems as if the younger sibling filled the place of their older predecessor. It's as if popularity is some sex lined gene that is passed on through a lineage line. Well at least popularity is a better trait to pass on then hemophilia, just ask Queen Victoria's kids.
2. They've got the goods: You know who 'm talking about. It was those kids that got exactly what you wanted. Maybe it was that barbie dream car that you desperately wanted (or still want if you're like me) that they had. Or maybe it was the trampoline that they got as an early birthday present. But it certainly seemed like some kids had everything you and everyone else wanted. Maybe all those material acquisitions made them have a sense of entitlement, a right to rule so to speak.
3. They just watched too much Angelica Pickles as a kid: if someone was a bully in 7th grade doesn't mean they are Hitler's right hand man. Because everyone's mean sometimes. Maybe they were just confused or maybe it was for laughs. In 8th grade someone wrote in my yearbook "Start being mean, it's much more fun that way." Well one thing is for sure, being called hairy four eyes certainly wasn't.

I guess it's pretty irrelevant whether you were the oppressor or the oppressi in the day's of finger paint and first junior high dances. Since it doesn't so much represent the person you are as the person you've become. But even though their isn't a line separating those who bullied and those who were bullied I still think you can see the stripe in people's character. Because when someone is bullied it's not just the magenta magic school bus sweatshirt that is being made fun of it's the most weakest part of them that is being exploited. Targeting someone on their looks, or their possessions, or simply their personality is attacking their most vulnerable side because it is something that is specific to them, something that makes them an individual, something they are helpless to change. Even though being bullied wasn't one of my most shining moments I think it has been solidified as an integral bone in my body. Being bullied makes you more sensitive, more insightful and more perceptive to other people's weaknesses. When we're in the boardroom there isn't going to be a scarlet letter attached to the former bullies since it doesn't represent who they are now. But I like to think that part of us will be able to tell who was bullied, that something in their antibodies will trigger a self recognition in their fellow underdogs. If not, a bad reaction to magenta sweatshirts and frizzy hair will certainly tip us off.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Aesthetes Lexicon

Wikiphillia: (wikk-a-feelia) a severe disorder characterized by a dependence on wikipedia

I love Wikipedia. It must be noted that my feelings for this search engine are far more intense than most chemically balanced people. Unlike your average procrastinator student I don't appreciate wikipedia simply on the nights before a big research paper, I appreciate it everyday. It is a constant in my life, I mean if I had to choose my Verizon top five it would be definitely be number one. Because why would you want to call anyone else if you could find everything you need to know in one simple, user friendly, non elitist encyclopedia? I use Wikipedia for everything. What is the first thing I do when I hear a band I really like? I Wikipedia them and read about how their musical history, their collaborations and discography and criticisms of their recent albums. I may even Wikipedia each individual band member to read about their early life. It may just seem like I'm a stalker and want to read every bit of information that I can about a particular person. But the thing is my Wikipedia mania is not just utilzied for specific individuals, but anything that captures my interest. Just finished watching a movie or reading a book? I have to go Wikipedia it. I don't why I do this but it gives me a feeling of validity. My interest in something is suddenly seems much more legit and clarified after I read that page long excerpt. It is almost like a parent constantly filled with reassurance and authority. Now it has become more of a dependence really. I cannot even write anything without referring to it (I even wikipedia-ed the actual word Wikipedia). Something about seeing a source of information delegated to that one particular word or topic sparks my creative process, I guess it is comforting to see that what I'm writing about is grounded in something other than just my own musings.

Yet it is more than just an information source to me, it really is like a diary filled with the most obscure information, written in the handwriting of different people. Just yesterday I rediscovered a show (Life as we know it) on youtube that I had really enjoyed. It had gotten canceled after its first season. After watching a couple of episodes I had to Wikipedia it, for some reason I had to see that the talented actors of the show were somewhere. doing something and not teetering on the cliff of their "almost" big break. I guess that's the reason why I love Wikipedia so much, because it's comforting, it proves that nothing is truly obscure, that everything can be tangible, recorded and read. It gives you the sense that you find important is important to someone else as well. It's strange because many people say that the onslaught of all this new age technology has left people isolated from each other but I think it is the exact opposite, it makes you feel less alone. Now if only I could find Wikipedia's number in the yellow pages my top five would be set. But who needs the yellow pages? I'll just Wikipedia it.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Secret Life of a Cross Dresser

They say the first step in fixing a problem is admitting that you have one. Well I guess it's my time to check into sartorial rehab. I think my epiphany began when I began to reflect on the age old question: Who is your style icon? Most normal people rattle off the usual list of suspects from Coco Chanel, to Audrey Hepburn to Marie Antoinette. My list starts off a bit differently, well it starts off with men. It all began very unassumingly. My dad is a very well dressed man and as any normal person I admired his style. But this innocent admiration manifested itself into a strange mania. All of sudden I did not just appreciate a man's clothing in the abstract way you admire your cat's cute little ears. It was like I wanted to wear the cat's cute little ears. I started not only appreciating the way a man dresses but also coveting some of the pieces he was wearing. It all started on one late night.

I began sneaking into my basement late at night and looting through my Father's clothes (they all won't fit in his closet). I would secretly bring them upstairs to my room and try them all on all while blasting the Arctic Monkey's and MGMT. I started wearing his sweaters to school with tights and ankle boots, wearing his cardigans over dresses, belting his knits to make blouses. People started curiously asking me which store I had acquired all these pieces. When I told them the truth they would look surprised. It gave me a rush, wearing clothes so unassuming yet irreverent. And the most glorious part of it all was that I never had to pay for any of these clothes, it was going to the mall and picking out whatever your heart's desire for free! Say what you want about shoplifting but Winona, I know where your coming from. But alas, admitting that you have a problem is not the end, it is only the beginning. In order to complete my twelve step program I had to ask myself: Why?

I approached this problem by delving into the cross dressing archives. I was surprised by how common it is in today's society. I mean Mulan dressed up as a man, granted it was because she wanted to save her ailing father from injury but still I bet she enjoyed those masculine army getups. I can almost feel the shoulder pads. And besides how else would she have scored such a hunk like Li Shang without dipping her foot in the Today Man's Pool? From Portia dressing up as man in the Merchant of Venice to Bug's Bunny throwing on a dress for comedic sake, cross dressing is everywhere. I think the appeal of dressing in men's clothes is the nonrestrictive nature of it all. Men's clothing are meant to be meant to be active, they are meant to be lived in. You see guy's all the time walking around with rolled up sleeves and their shirts untucked. So many women envy the looks that are effortless, they may not realize that these looks may just be in closet down the hall. But I think the main reason why I am attracted to men's clothing is because unlike women men don't dress for other men or for their girlfriends they dress for comfort, for practicality and for themselves. And I think men's clothing and cross dressing general embody that message: Dress for yourself. I'm starting to see the saying "Life's a Drag" in a whole new light.
Photo Credit: Sillysidilly.wordpress.com

A Grunt is Worth a Thousand Words

I've learned a lot of things from my dad. Inadvertently he taught me some of my most valuable life lessons, things such as how to properly combine colors in an outfit (my dad can pull off pastels like no other), how to iron your pants to perfection and how to make the perfect omelet. But I think the most important lesson he taught me was the power of the grunt (his lessons on how to be good person comes in as a close second on my list). The grunt is an integral part of the human language, used at the dawn of time by caveman and still used in conversations today. Yet the grunt that I am referring to is not the barbaric gurgle of yonder, it is a tool of civilized restraint, a tool that I feel is underutilized in today's invasive society.

My dad has always been the soft spoken type, using words sparingly and only when appropriate. When you ask my father a question there is not guarantee that you will receive an answer, most of the times you receive a murmur or a grunt as a response. I think it is due my dad's laconic nature that he is often viewed as slightly intimidating, since his air of indifference and coolness are in sharp contrast with most people's neediness to talk (albeit mostly about themselves) with other people . Due to the fact I have not inherited my father's deep throaty voice or a mustache (thankfully) I have found other ways to acquired his swagger of mystery. This is where my discovery of the inscrutable grunt began.

Now think about it, how incredible it would be if you could forgo any uneasy question with just a whirl of sound? In today's intrusive society people ask questions that step over the line of privacy. As someone with a sharing problem (includes objects and information) there are certain things that I just would rather to keep to myself. But if I say this as a response to a pushy question half the time I end up looking like some type of tight lipped freak show. Which is why I whip out the age old, never obsolete grunt. These are just some of the scenarios where the grunt can be useful"
Q. How old are you?
A. You know around...mmh.
Q.What did you get on that Calc exam?
A. Ah I think a got a mmmmh.

Now the grunt takes some practice, at first people might just think you are severely hungry and have just spotted something delicious. But when perfected, the grunt is an invaluable tool of circumspect speech. In age that glorifies magazines that reveal every aspect of a celebrity's life and in age that finds it acceptable to stalk other people's news feeds sometimes you just need to keep some things for yourself. Not to mention when you use less words people take the words you do say more seriously With the grunt you become a bit more alluring, acquiring a mystique that keeps people guessing and wondering about you. I plan to employ the grunt in many of my future conversations because everyone needs a bit a silence once in a while.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Exam Time is Among Us

Which is severely going to cut into my nap time.
The sacrifices I make, I swear
This is Sparta anyone?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Walk Down the PROMendade

Prom is emblematic, an institution in it's own right. If it were not for prom where would the teenage movies of the 90s be? (10 things I Hate About You and She's All That both had their respective climaxes at Prom). But I think the real question is where would we be without prom? With a lot less taffeta and successful limo companies that's for sure. As someone who is forgoing prom I strangely do not feel any grief about missing this "supposed" milestone of my life. To me Prom is more of a goodbye party to high school itself than to the friends who you are actually going to miss. I guess to me Prom just doesn't seem worth it. Doesn't all the excess, whether it be the loud dresses, the booze, or the parading of wealth dilute the essential purpose of prom? In view prom has become a display of decadence, an over consumption and I feel as if I wouldn't even remember my friends in the midst of all that gluttony.
Don't get me wrong I don't think people who go to prom are "conformist" nor do I think people who forgo it are "too cool for school." To steal a line from Sly Sloane it's just "Different Strokes for Different Folks." Plus prom will save me a package of humiliation since I am
a) A really awkward dancer. Correction: I do not dance
b) Really unphotogenic (Commiserating on prom photo's would not be a joyous experience)
c)Not a fan of prom getups. I've never seen one person whose prom ensemble I actually liked, with the exception of Laney Boggs.
So I guess I'm not the prom type but maybe I would got to prom if: Freddie Prince Jr. sas my Prom date, Usher would DJ my Prom and my whole senior class magically learn a synchronized dance to Fat Boy Slim's "The Rockefellar Skank" (see below)

But than again Freddie Prince Jr. did leave his prom (despite the synchronized dancing) to get the girl and it seemed to be pretty much worth to him at the end.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Coming Out of the Closet

Everyone has their fair share of solecisms in the aesthetic arena. Whether it was that impulse induced purchase of the poncho back in 1999 or the imprudent acquisition of Crocs, everyone has been guilty of an SWM (shopping while misguided). These sartorial aneurysms hang in our closets as reminders of misjudgments, the fruits of our shopping hangovers. The fact that fashion is not stoic but ever changing makes it difficult to buy stability especially when trends are as ephemeral as celebrity rehab stints. Yet there are a few select items that have endured the fashion cycle of rebirth. These items may have lurked in our closets, deemed too outdated to be worn (in public anyway). But now that a fashion Renaissance is upon us I think it is time to look at our clothes with fresh eyes. Who knows? We may even pull out a Botticelli from our own closets.

The Comeback Kids
1. Shoulder Pads: Not only for football players and business women of the 80's, shoulder pads have made a comeback on the runways and in various people's wardrobes. On a simple blazer they elongate the shape and create a stronger, more defined look. And with the weight of burdens increasing everyday who wouldn't want stronger shoulders to lean on?

2. Leggings: The child of the eighties (and the Godfather of Flashdance) deserves to come back into our good graces. Done right (like Rag and Bone Fall 09), leggings can be a great addition in the winter months by providing a layer of warmth to long tunics and short dresses alike. The fact that they are as comfortable as sweatpants doesn't hurt their cause either.

3. The Leather Jacket: I think from previous posts we all know my feelings on this particular subject

4. The turtleneck/trench coat combo: Though the turtleneck and the trench coat have never been cast as a sartorial exile they often are given a cold shoulder for being mere "basics." Not your average one night stands, these are the pieces you break out the monogrammed linens and engagement ring for. So pony up and make a commitment, you might surprised about how much you missed some gold old fashioned stability.

So I think it’s time to embrace the now, progressive looks of the past. I think, it’s time to finally celebrate coming out of the closet (though the use of Liza Minnelli music is totally optional).

Photo compliments of: www.materialgirlblog.com

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Because being conscience just isn't as fun
Photo: "Le lit" by Toulouse Lautrec

Sunday, April 19, 2009

If I Were A Boy....

If I were a boy
Even just for a day
I'd roll out of my bed in the morning
And throw on some purple and go

If I were a boy
I think I could understand
How it feels to love a man scarf
I swear I'd be a better man

If I were a boy
I'd put myself first
And make my wardrobe rules as I go
Cause I know I could pull it off
Because I'm Chuck Bass

If I were a boy I would dress like Chuck Bass.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Sharpest Tool in the Shed

I have been reckless in my use, perhaps even addicted. It’s quite disturbing actually. I try to find any reason to slip it into my daily life, filling the needles of my conversation with it, injecting it into the ending of every punch line. But alas, I just cannot stop using, using the word tool that is. It strikes that intangible balance of articulacy, straddling between the lake of coherence and the cliff of irreverence. Certain words encompasses more than just a definition, they cover a set of tendencies, a mindset and in the best cases aid in a plethora of insults/ridicule. Though these merits do not justify the overdose of my favorite noun it does shed light on the cause of my addiction. It is the felicitous nature of the word. But mostly it is the word’s equilibrium, the fact that it is funny enough to be mean and mean enough to be funny. Now the pleasure I derive in using this word may make me acerbic and sardonic. But these are symptoms I’m willing to live with. It’s my vice after all.

The Proper Way to Use/Identify a Tool is When You See (Male version)….
1. Anyone with beach blond tips
2. Typically anyone who hosts a dancing/singing competition show
3. Anyone who whitens their teeth in combination with a spray tan
4. Anyone who walks down an escalator. I mean if you really were in rush just use the stairs, no need to make the actual lazy people move out of their way for you,
5. Anyone who uses raises their eyebrows and/or thumbs up too much, particularly as an alternative to words
6. Anyone who strategically places the Da Vinci Code on their coffee table. We all know you never read it.
7. Anyone who shaves and deliberately leaves a chin beard. There is no need to sculpt your facial hair, it is not a Bonsai plant.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Let's Get Personal?

I never wanted to write a blog. I did it primarily to improve my writing because writing like anything else, improves through practice. I was hesitant in creating a blog because I thought it would turn into some narcissistic, self indulgent rant. So I always veered on the side of caution, trying never to write about anything going on in my actual life, strictly trying to keep the topics about human interest pieces (whether they're actually interesting is a different story). Because who really would want to read about what was going on in my life? But I started realizing that the blogs that hold my interest the most are the ones that are a bit personal, the ones that provide insight into someone else's life.

I guess blogs, unlike any other medium, feed our voyeuristic desires. They're like reality shows but without the tackiness, the Corona induced fights, and the over dramatic characters. But blogs, unlike reality shows allow you to see the thought processes of people. Reading a person's blog is like hearing that person's voice in your ear. Perhaps that is why they've always frighten me a bit. I personally think it's admirable for people to talk so openly about their life on a forum that can be accessed by an infinite amount of people. Maybe that's because I have privacy issues (I like to delete all my news feeds on Facebook). I know its silly to hide the fact that you joined the "I love Harry Potter" group on Facebook (like it's a secret) but I guess it's a form of protection. Because if you become inscrutable you cannot be attacked by the vulnerabilities that come with transparency. But I've decided to get a bit more personal with my posts. Who knows? Maybe I'll actually start keeping my Facebook feeds.
Photo by Jeques B. Jamora: http://jeques.wordpress.com

Please Mister Postman

My first occupational ambition came at the age of four when all I wanted to be was a mailwomen. Though I have decided to take a slightly different vocational route I am proud to say that my obsession with all things postal has not seized since. Yet I do not limit my indulgences to documents that are branded with a postage stamp. As a mail connoisseur I do not discriminate against new age communication. I take whatever type correspondence I can get. E- cards? Letters? Facebook messages? You name it, I hoard it. Which is the reason why I can't understand why no one writes letters to themselves. In a way letters are more insightful than journal entries, because you aren't just recklessly writing your thoughts down, you are directing them to someone else. You are objectifying your feelings for the sole purpose of it being read by an outsider. In a way they are consciously constructed artifacts of who you were at that moment in your life.
So wouldn't you love to have that insight? To read a letter from the past proclaiming about the future which is in actuality the present? (Stay with me here). Wouldn't it be refreshing to hear the voice of a former, more historic self, a version of you that was more naive, that was filled with the ignorance of the unknown? So the next time you are on the cusp of some big endeavor or in the midst of some personal tragedy write your self a letter or an E card (which can conveniently be set up to sent out 30 days in the future). Write about what you hope will happen, your worries, and your dreams. Offer yourself advice about the next coming days, months or years. Because who really knows what your going through better than yourself? And when you open up that letter after that big endeavor hopefully you will be comforted to hear the voice of someone so familiar, someone you used to know, someone who has come out of the other side. Just don't write to yourself too publicly. The last thing you want is for your letter writing to land you in the same category as the lady who sends herself flowers on Valentines day.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Don't Kill the Messenger

To me, messenger bags have always been synonymous with mailmen and Dan Humphrey. Now don't get me wrong, I appreciate both of these fine specimen (in different ways, of course) but I never aspired to emulate their style. Lately though I've seen myself pining for one of these cross body contraptions. They just seem much less troublesome than the standard oversized/leather/satchel bag. As someone who lugs around handbags that weigh almost as much as a Kindergarten class, handbags always seem to be a hindrance rather than a tool of efficency . I always seem to be knocking someone in the elbow with the back of my bag. And let me tell you, it's not easy squeezing into small spaces with a bag the width of a tree trunk.

This handbag history is probably what lead me to think that there is something quite liberating about being hands free, about not having a huge burden on your shoulder (literally). The messenger bag in it's utilitarian aesthetic really captures the meaning of the quote "Wear the clothes, don't let them wear you." Well, I'll certainly be wearing one sometime soon.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Forget Timeless, It's All About Timefull Dressing

Usually when I think of leather jackets images of Hell's Angels come racing through my mind's archive of sartorial references. And I usually have to resist the temptation to make a joke about Fonzie. Considering the fact that I've never been coordinated enough to ride a bike much less a motorcycle, leather jackets have never really found a place in my wardrobe ideology. And truth be told, I've always preferred Potsie over "The Fonz" anyway. But for the past couple of months I've been seeing leather jackets and more over what they stand for in a whole new retail therapy induced light.
I used to be wooed by the impression that all girls were princesses and the fairy tale way of dressing, the bows, the frills and the ruffles ect. Blame it on watching Cinderella one too many times. I have not abandoned my pre-adolescent beliefs but more over have transmuted them into something more tangible, something more relevant to the landscape of our times. I guess the princess getup doesn't appeal to me quite as much anymore because I think its time for us to dress stronger, to dress in a way that does not drip of overt femininity. So lately when I look in my closet I have a strong urge to ease up on the lace and pile on the leather. I am fully aware that its quite ridiculous to wax on and off about a leather jacket but I guess that's what clothes are supposed to do right?
They are supposed to provide insight. I know people would argue that clothes are supposed to provide a fantasy and dressing like your running though a field of flowers provides that escape. It is true that clothes are supposed to provide a fantasy, but one that is relevant to our times. They are supposed to intensify us, makes us a more concentrated version of ourselves so we do not slip away from reality but become a more fortified fixture in it. So despite my dislike of Fonzie, I guess the reason why leather jackets appeal to me is because they makes us feel more powerful and able to face the trying times, not just the Happy Days.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

It's Peanut Butter and Jelly Time!

I never quite understand the mystical healing powers of a dancing banana until I came across this video. I still don't really get what a dancing banana has to do with peanut butter jelly but I guess a dancing jar of Peanut Butter just wouldn't be as funny or as therapeutic.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Eulogy to the Past

O Prestigious University why didn't you accept me?
I wasted $75 dollars on your application fee

Can't you see your the one?

Why can't you let me in you sun of a gun?

Oh crap, I really need to get a life

To distract me from this everlasting strife

I created this elegiac masterpiece during AP French as my intestines were inundated with feelings of pity and self deprecation. Getting my rejection letter was painful, depressing and heinously pathetic. But as I flooded my ears with Conor Oberst and Neutral Milk Hotel (like I wasn't depressed enough) I realized something. No matter how strong, practical and rational we are we all become seduced by our dreams. We cheat on actuality to give in to our wants, our carnal cravings, our clandestine thirsts. We are no longer prisoners of reality but fugitives of reverie. And no matter how much you try to prepare yourself, no matter how many times you say to yourself that you have no chance, that getting rejected is expected, that it shouldn't come as any surprise it always does. Because you always believe that you're the exception to the rule or you wouldn't have even attempted to break it. And know matter how many times people fill you with the stories of qualified students getting rejected it doesn't soften the blow. Because you never want to be that kid. You want to be the one that succeeds, the person who everyone looks at and says "I always knew she would make it."

About two weeks before acceptance's were being mailed one of my cousin turned to me and said "I really hope you get rejected." I looked at her as if she were telling me that she wanted to become a Death Eater (Oh, come on we all know they're a historical parallel to the Nazis). After I gave her the look of death she preceded to tell me this: Rejection letters are a life experience. They make you see that life isn't easy. At the time I thought she was just waxing about some abstract moral lesson that would hopefully never apply to me. But it looks like it did apply to me, because I certainly learned that things in my life do not come easy. I guess getting the letter made me feel as if I wasn't enough, just mediocrity at its most finest and most delusional. Everyone from my mom to my best friends told me "Everything happens for a reason." My response? "That's the saying of failures trying to justify their lack of success." But as I let the reality of it marinate inside my head I had to acknowledge the fact that I wanted to get into Columbia more than anything I've ever wanted but I didn't get it. I have to realize that relating my self worth to a college acceptance is not only tenuous but foolish. I have to accept the fact that maybe everythign does happen for reason, that even though I really believe that I could have done great at Columbia that I can do great or maybe greater elsewhere. But mostly I have to accept the fact that if there is something special inside of me, even an ounce of potential, than I have to remove it from an abstract notion into something tangible. Hopefully I can still be that person who everyone always knew "would make it." My rejection taught me that my life isn't easy. But I guess I never wanted it to be a slut anyway.