Friday, June 12, 2009

Girls Jumping Out Of Cakes

Tomorrow marks the five-year anniversary of the Olsen twins' 18th birthday. Somewhere, some pervert is shedding an oily tear over the fact that his favourite underweight moppets are becoming two of America's mogul-iest of moguls: MK & A lead the charge on a whole avalanche of products, ranging from the usual (dolls, books, and videos) to the more anomalous: managing other sets of twins, or launching high-end fashion ventures, all while roaming the streets looking unshowered and possibly herpetic.

No matter! If either of the girls (even though they're now well into their 20s, I have a hard time referring to anyone who weighs less than 100 pounds as a "woman") does have sores, I'm sure she can massage it with a hundred-dollar bill. These girls are l.o.a.d.e.d. Like, richer than God. I'm sure that if Mary-Kate wanted to spend the rest of her life trying on designer dresses, drinking martinis and bathing in milk and honey, that would be no problem.

But neither of them actually do that. They're both firmly entrenched in their own empire - they actually design the clothes they sell for The Row (I would wager they're less involved in the line they vend over at Wal-Mart) and they go to fashion shows. Hell, Ashley went ahead and did an internship with Zac Posen, like she was any other gazillionaire student at NYU. Even though they totally have the money, the power, and what one might imagine to be the male version of the women, the Olsens never rest. I'm beginning to suspect that they're powered by caffeine injected directly their hearts.

Not only are they super successful, but they're also kind of funky - yeah, sometimes literally - and dress unusually and independently. They were part of the whole tween thing that Vanity Fair freaked out about a few years ago. Like Lindsay Lohan a few years later, the Olsen twins became their own internal combustion engine of gossip when MK toddled off to rehab for anorexia. One might point out that people usually traipse off to Cirque Lodge for things like addiction, usually to things like cocaine...but no bother.

The total frenzy that accompanied their 18th birthday was sort of an embarrassing moment, though, wasn't it? Okay, we get it: they're twins. They're blonde. They're nubile. They've been in the public eye since they were babies. They're....that list is kind of distracting, isn't it? Blonde twins...I feel like someone else has built an empire around those very characteristics. Okay, wait, back on track. They must have feel like they were living in a shark cage, what with all the frothing at the mouth regarding their upcoming anniversaire. (Living in a shark cage...I feel like someone else has built an empire around that, too. God, Olsens: is there no trend you have no set?)

I was totally fascinated with the Olsens around their 18th birthday, which coincided with the shitshorm about anorexia/drugs. As a slightly fat 20 year old, you can understand that my interest in the skinny and glamourous duo who were all over the gossip pages that summer, both for actual news (rehab) and pretend news (aging process). They've since gained ten pounds, I've lost twenty, and five years have passed. Even though they've faded slightly, and even though one of them tends to dress like a drunk octegenarian (they're twins - guess which one!) I still admire their choices, both in the business world and on the red carpet. So happy birthday, Mary-KateandAshley...and as a side note from a girl who knows, birthday cake is m'f'ing delicious. So have some.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Type Cast

Every so often, and by that I mean at least twice a day, I turn to one of my compatriots and say, "That guy is cute." And my amiga will sigh and reply, "You have such a type."

I take umbrage to this, since every one of those guys is different. I mean, okay, yes - different from each other in the I-rarely-check-out-identical-twins sort of way...but different from each other in the I-have-many-man-types kind of way, too. I've checked out brunettes, redheads and blonds, the polo-shirted and the heavily tattooed. I've checked out men who run the gamut, ethnically speaking, from translucently fair to blue-black; I've scoped out guys who might still be in high school and guys who might be taking advantage of their Freedom 55. I am a type slut. (Not to be confused with a practising slut.)

Sure, I have some definite preferences. Don't we all? For example, in addition to making eyes at passing men, I also scope, if applicable, their bikes. Or I take note of the contents of their shopping cart (which can be handy when trying to assess possible girlfriend status. A lot of sandwich meat usually = single [and possibly suffering from scurvy]; tampons, not so much). Other tiny details are also important. An ostentatious watch is a mondo turnoff, since, for me, it usually indicates a either a poncey childhood or an obsession with cash - neither of which are attractive. More probably, a bad haircut can be a deal-breaker, since it can be a marker of not having the eight dollars required for a trim down in Chinatown. A three-ton watch on a guy with a bad haircut can mean only one thing: unrelenting d-baggery. But those details are mere leaves of the Tree of Men...types are broader, more forgiving of the small things in exchange for the big picture.

I'm not about to publish my Field Guide To Men I Think Are Attractive (coming this fall in hardcover!), but I will plead that my so-called type-having is so not a reality. I've had three semi-to-fairly serious boyfriends, and they have been, like, polar opposites of each other. Yeah, all three of them. Defying the laws of physics? Par for the course in my dating life, dudes.

It's important to note that "types," when I'm talking about them, are pretty strictly a physical definition. There are other kinds of type-selecting out there. Sero-sorting, which is when HIV-positive men elect to only have le sexy times with other positive dudes, may have led to a lowered incidence of infection in San Fransisco. There's also the ever-popular practice of arranged marriages, which, shockingly, was never all that popular in the West. Granted, getting your parents to handle the question of wife/husband pretty much guarantees that you're going to end up with someone who's your mom's type instead of, maybe, your own. At least your beloved will be someone's type.

Friends: the next time I nudge you and make the "he's cute" face (or, more likely, point directly at a stranger and say loudly, "He's cute!"), recall this edict and make no face at me. I like them short, tall, chubby, lean, in every hue and at every age. If I have a type at all, it's "attractive people" and friends, we all define attractive in different ways. For some, it's this man, while others (others more in line with my way of thinking) would prefer this fella right here. To each his own, and happy hunting!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Special Events Make Me Feel Special

The time has come, the Seventeen magazine said , to talk of many things. Of shoes, and corsages, and sealing the deal, of limo rides and kings.

There are few events that are "important" as prom. Yeah, those quote marks are supposed to be there: prom is important, but not in the ways one might think. In fact, along with weddings, proms are a category of event that could be labeled, "no matter what happens, the fantasy wrecks the reality." I'm not hating on wedding days or prom night; what I am saying is, after all is said and done, there's a buttload of build-up and not a huge amount of pay-off. (Weddings, however, have the added bonus of getting people hitched, so I'm more on-side.)

It's supposed to be a magical night...right? Limos, fancy dinners, the exciting possibility of sex, nice clothes and flowers. It's marketed as a rite of passage, but unlike your first hangover or your first pregnancy scare, prom is supposed to be a classy occasion. In high school, house parties are sloppy and bush parties are sketchy, but prom - hotel-held and fancified - is supposed to kinder, gentler, more adult, and the entrance into a world where getting dressed up for special occasions means a suit or a pair of high heels (but probably not, you know, together).

But it's not. It never is. I used to think - and still secretly do - that my birthday should be a day like no other. I should get free food at restaurants and breakfast in bed, along with well-wishing phone calls and cards in the mail. Needless to say, that never happens. Birthdays are usually days like any other. I rarely get a parade, and truthfully, that always makes me a little sad. Prom is like that too. The buildup - the anticipation of the special - is what can ruin the mood. Plus, the dressing-up and the going-for-dinner (which is pretty standard) and the limo (not) heightens the whole event. The chance that it won't be totally, totally awesome becomes just inconceivable.

But, inconceivable or not, prom is often a major bust. (And not like this.) Vomiting is involved. Police are there. People are smoking outside. Girls cry. Boys fight. There is often relationship drama of the highly intense high-school variety. Someone else always looks way better. The music, in an effort to appease everybody, ends up being boring top-40. You know, high school dances are usually more fun, because they're casual and not attached to a Big Deal Event. Plus, dancing in gymnasiums is pretty terrific.

Prom isn't so bad, and the fact that it sucks isn't so bad. The worst (for me, at least) is the shame and embarrassment I felt at buying into the hype. I sort of suspected that prom was going to suck, but I wanted so badly for it to be amazing. And then, of course, felt stupid when it wasn't. I felt like I had somehow screwed it up. If only I had gone to school...somewhere else! With different people! And was better looking! And more confident! Then I would have had a great time. But I wasn't, and I didn't, so I was embarrassed to admit that I felt lame at prom. Even thought it's marketed as some Ultimate Thing, it sounds weird to cop to feeling, not regret, joy, boredom or delight...but embarrassment.

Seven years later (damn, time flies), prom is sort of a hazy memory. Since there's no wedding in sight for me, I have few Ultimate Things to look forward to and, unthinkingly, over-hype. Somehow, it's kind of a relief. Rites of passage are getting be getting fewer and farther between - but all that means is that I'm more of an adult. The next time I'm at an event where there's a critical mass of drunk women in ugly full-length gowns, it's going to be celebrating the love of two people...not a bunch of high schoolers who have been chugging schnapps and need a ride home. And I won't be required by law to have an awesome wonderful amazing perfect mind-blowing hyperbolic time.