Have you ever been watching an NBA game or the Olympics and thought to yourself “I wonder what it would like if a normal person was shown competing next to these people? You know, like some regular dude (fine me) who just ate half a Domino's pizza and is about to start clipping their toenails and then suddenly they’re thrown into the game and expected to not even defend LeBron but just, like, keep up with him?” I think sometimes we don’t appreciate these long jumpers, tele skiers, Serena Williams-s of the world—what have you—because they make it all look too easy. We need some perspective. This is also how I feel about cooking.
Example: below is a photograph of the finished polenta I made for my boyfriend last week, while cooking a Real Simple recipe I found called “Pork Chops with Sauteed Apple and Polenta.
And here’s the magazine’s photo of the final meal, below. Our polenta looks somewhat different, right? Just a little? (I’m still unclear on what polenta actually is by the way, but I suppose that’s a different issue entirely.)
Basically, food styling is the death of me. I really think all our lives would be better if a) Donald Trump doesn’t become President and b) every cookbook/blog was forced to update their content to also contain a “real meal prepared by a real person who still isn’t that good at chopping shallots yet and whose boyfriend is better at making the bed then she is” photo. Just to, like, lower our expectations a little. We don’t all need to see the Simone Biles photo of the pork and sauteed apples Real Simple! (Though I suppose the argument that if they ran the photo of my hack-job polenta in the magazine people would probably gag and throw the Real Simple down and vow to never cook again...but still—maybe something halfway?)
Anyhow, I solved the problem of the ruined grain (I think I just bought the wrong kind? Like, it wasn’t instant? Seriously, what is polenta?) by taking a cue from my girl Ina G. and just straight up lying to my boyfriend. You know, that whole “never let them see you sweat!” thing, or whatever. Like, if you’re holding a dinner party and you burn the roast for six people you just say it was planned all along with a “throaty” laugh and then hand everyone a martini and a handful of stale nuts and tell them a pizza is on its way? I feel like I read that somewhere once...but yeah, I just lied to my boyfriend and said we were pulling a Tom and Gisele-like cleanse and eating only meat and vegetables for dinner. (Later, when he saw the left-for-dead polenta floating aimlessly on the stovetop he yelped and asked me “what was I going to do with that thing.”)
Known non-polenta eater
The truth is I do really want to get better at cooking and not ruining recipes. So I recently signed up for Home Chef, aka one of those meal delivery services that send you three meals a week in a box and everything is prepackaged into perfect portions and there are step-by-step guides as to how to prepare everything so you barely have to think about what to make for dinner and can focus solely on how terrified you are of Donald Trump Jr. becoming Secretary of the Treasury. (And no, this is not a #sponsored post for Home Chef, though, believe me, I would LOVE nothing more than to ever have the chance to write #sponsoredcontent for this blog. Like, all I want to do is pose in front of exposed brick somewhere in Beacon Hill while holding a latte and wearing a pair of Chico's chandelier earrings and be like “guys, you should totally shop at Chico's, look at these earrings, they’re such a good transition day-to-night item!” and then get paid seventy-five cents for it.) Alas, I’m just writing about Home Chef because I’m trying it.
And so far, so good! I’ve made two of the first three meals and they’ve both been quite tasty! And I will say it's sort of trippy to find yourself standing in your kitchen stirring a “cajun remoulade” and thinking like, “I would literally never have made a cajun remoulade in my entire life but some Stanford grad realized how lazy I am and just took my money and sent it to me in the mail and now I’m making air-mailed cajun tilapia? Like what?”
There is one major drawback to the service so far, which I will illustrate for you through a conversation I had with my mother on the day the first box of food arrived. She was over, helping me unpack some books. The following unfolded as I began to take the food out of the Home Chef box and put everything away in the fridge:
Mom: “Um….wow, this is a lot of packaging.”
Me: “No it’s not. It’s normal. Think about my carbon footprint of, like, going to the grocery store, and then you buy a huge jar of horseradish sauce you only use once and then you throw it out three years later? And like, who isn’t always finding moldy broccoli in their fridge?”
Silence. The mother continues to inspect the box.
Mom: “No no... this is not….there’s too much foam-look at this!
She proceeds to pull a foam pad the size of a husky toddler out of the cardboard box.
Mom: “This is so much foam!”
Me: “Well, chicken from the supermarket comes in a foam container!
Mom:“Not this MUCH foam!”
The concerned mother continues to reach into the box and pull plastic things out Mary Poppins-style.
Mom: “I mean, what are you going to do with all these ice packs!”
Environment-hater quickly googles “home chef ice packs” and sees that the goo in them is “safe” and that the packs can be cut open and the goo poured down the sink.
Me: “Um, duh I’ll just cut them open and pour the goo down the sink! And I’ll save one to use for when I burn myself cooking! The goo is good for the environment, Mom! Get with the times!”
The daughter cuts the packs open. Soon the bottom of her sink is covered in a sludgy, creepy goo. It feels like the beginning of a sci-movie where the villains are lazy millennials. The mother turns to her daughter.
Mom: “I just...I personally wouldn’t be comfortable getting this every week-”
Me: “MOM PLEASE STOP YOU’RE RUINING MY HOME CHEF HIGH!”
Mom: “Sorry, sorry.”
Then we turned on the tv and watched Sweet Home Alabama, which I haven’t seen in forever, and can I just say, how completely RIDICULOUS is that movie? Poor Reese having such a hard time choosing between two incredibly handsome, rich, nice men, just one is dark-haired and the other is blonde. Decisions, decisions! I did note, however, that this off-the-shoulder top trend that just won’t quit may have begun with this movie?
It's a mystery. Anyhow, I’m making pork medallions tonight. Maybe I’ll post a picture.
Now that fall is here, and I am spending a lot of time staring out the window wistfully and collecting decorative gourds, I am also remembering how much I enjoyed Ryan Adams' 1989 cover album that came out last year. That's right, an entire album of emo Taylor Swift covers. It's so amazing. It was essentially made for brushing your hair slowly while wearing a gigantic sweater and thinking about the concept of frost. And if you haven't heard it yet YOU'RE WELCOME.
I like basically every cover on the album, but I'm gonna go with "Shake It Off" and "All You Had To Do Was Stay" as the two to share here. (Blank Space is also SUPER emo and great.)
Sort of imagining me and Hillary driving around upstate NY in a vintage red convertible right now, sharing a small bag of caramel popcorn and blasting this album....is that weird?
Happy Monday Earthly friends! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend filled with flannel shirts, rolling around in leaves, slugging PSLs and watchin' fertball because—OPRAH VOICE—"Faaaaaall issssssssss heeeeeere!" And thank the Lord for that, right? That cool air just feels so good when it hits your lips/face/hair, etc.
Anyhow, I had big plans all weekend to write a killer Hilldog post for ya'll (Hilldog is my affectionate name for Sec. Clinton) but then, like, everyone else seems to have taken care of it for me. Editorials coming out for her up the wazoo. People being all "you know...she's kind of awesome and NOT just because she's not Trump. Because she's a life-long public servant, a bad-ass who won't quit, and actually seems somewhat moderate, which (gasp) might be something our deeply divided nation needs." I, for one, have always felt most comfortable with a passionate, hardworking nerd being in charge, including one that isn't lazy like me and needs to be told to take it easy when they're sick. I like intense people. I admire them.
And though I know Seth Meyers has already pointed this fact out brilliantly, I just have to reiterate that what I really REALLY dislike about candidate Trump is how much he manipulates his views and lies to the American public. It's gross. Hearing him speak when he's lying like that literally makes my skin crawl. And the sad truth is a lot of what Trump says is deplorable (which people point out constantly) and though I'm not, like, a Math major or anything I do think, what, 10 to....27% of the country actually believes in a lot of his racist, sexist "views"? (I don't know if you can actually call them views as I don't believe Trump has any other thoughts in his head other than MONEY, GET ON TV, SPRAY TAN, GET ON TV, HAVE PEOPLE TALK ABOUT ME, SPRAY TAN.) But yes, the fact that a portion of our country holds these upsetting views and therefore is attracted to Trump's candidacy is disturbing. I get that. It's been said a lot. But it shouldn't be that much of a shock, and you can often trace why. It's certainly not an act. It's a matter of education, upbringing (we usually share the same views as our parents, and their parents) and other factors, like, well, some people suck. But people aren't lying about it. It's what they think. And because I tend to view the world solely through the lens of Vanity Fair celebrity profiles (doesn't everyone?) I am reminded of the great Jennifer Garner quote from this year, in regards to her ex's potential new gigantic back tattoo. Garner said, where she comes from, people would look at that and just shake their head and say "Bless his heart." As in, "I feel badly for you. You are dumb and probably suffering. But you don't know better."** But Donald Trump is not that person. He does know better. And he still is comfortable saying racist, dangerous things, inciting hate and making false promises about how he, and he alone, can keep our country safe, as if ISIS can be solved with a little pixie dust or something.
My boyfriend and I went out for BBQ Saturday night, and then had the meat sweats, so we came home and put on an SNL re-run before bed like really cool people in their late twenties and early thirties are wont to do. And the Weekend Update did a segment where they shared a tweet of Trump's from 2012, right after President Obama spoke at Sandy Hook.
Looking at that tweet, I had the urge to cry and then break my boyfriend's television. Because, um....what was that Mr. Trump???? THAT is the kind of thing that really boggles my mind, and boggles my mind that any logical person can still support him, even though they're being lied to and manipulated so much. His ability to go from not only having an opinion that supports the President and sensible gun safety measures, but PUBLICLY sharing it, and then during this campaign to essentially change or refute so much of who he's been and what he's said....I mean, a gazillion other people have pointed this out much more eloquently than I just did, but...how can anyone not be alarmed by that? What does that indicate about a person's moral fiber?
But, whatever, I'm boring myself. I sort of feel like sharing one's thoughts on the election at this point is like talking about the dream you had last night (or not, and that's just how functioning democracies work? one or the other...) but I'm the type of person who always babbles on about their dreams so I'll just keep going!! But I am aware of the echo chamber that occurs when people who share all the same views talk about their views to those same people who share their views all the time and it's just like a hunky-dory hate fest 24/7 and we're never forced to actually think about anything outside our experience. (Quick thought: is THIS why Drake named his album Views?) Like, I literally planned to write even more than I already have on this matter...and then I'm like, well whose mind am I trying to change? I don't know many people who disagree with me. And the ones I do know, welp, they aren't changing their minds any time soon. They hate Hillary. It's made-up. So then I'm like, okay, but still, 100 million people are going to watch the debate tonight (I'm making debate tilapia) and of those people WHO THE FINKLE hasn't made up their mind? Who are these "undecided voters?" I'm fascinated by the mere idea of them. Is it more that they plan to NOT vote (don't understand) but maybe will at the last second? But to be on the fence about two candidates that are such a stark contrast in intellect, temperate, and MORALITY (also did I mention intellect?) makes me like...were Brad and Angie always a lie? Where is this video from the tarmac? I don't get it.
To continue on this topic of undecided voters and things that don't matter, I almost vomited all over my laptop the other day when I read that evil genius Kim Kardashian was "undecided" on the election. This was, of course, after speaking to her brilliant stepmom Caitlyn Jenner about politics. Caitlyn is a transgender woman who is supporting Donald Trump because she think he'll be a better President for women and trans people than Secretary Clinton, or something else that makes .000548% sense. I can't. I can't even.
I just don't understand people, man! Because I would have 100% more respect for Caitlyn Jenner, and frankly anyone supporting Donald Trump, if they were just like "um, actually I have a gazillion dollars (or even if they don't) and I think his tax policies will allow me to keep more of that to myself and that is my number one factor in voting, and thus I will vote for him." I mean, whatever. Fine. I don't have a gazillion dollars. (I know, I know, I work part-time at a shoe store so it's hard to wrap your head around this fact, but it's true.) So I truly do not KNOW what I would do in that position if I had that much money, and though I disagree with it and like to think I would stay fundamentally the same person I am now with the same Drake-Views, at least I can see some logical thought process there. "Me like money. Trump let me keep more of my money. Money still more important than hate mongering candidate's foreign policy background and hideous moral fiber and the fact that it appears he doesn't read. Money, money, money." Fine. But don't f-ing fool me with with this "Trump would be better for women" garbage, or "Trump is a straight talker" BULLSHIT. He's the OPPOSITE of a straight talker! (See above tweet.) There is literally so much smoke coming out of those people's asses when they say shit like that I can only think of calling the fire department, which of course makes me think one of my favorite, unheralded movies of all time, Frequency!
(Also, they're making this movie into a TV show?? Cray-cray. But seriously I love this movie and you should watch it.)
Anyway, back to Hilldog. I love her. I wanted to just write a whole post about her but the truth is I love her, and always have, sort of like in Braveheart. I wish I had been more open about it sooner (fine, that probably doesn't matter at all, whatever) but I feel like her "enthusiasm gap with voters" or whatever they're calling it, is partly people like me's fault, because the media has shamed us into wanting to hide the fact that her life and candidacy makes us excited, as if that's deeply uncool or something. But anyhow, I hope she crushes it tonight Bill Belichick style. I hope she just masterminds the shit out of Trump with her play-calling. I hope she feels as hot and captain-like in her pantsuit as Brady on his best day, and then if something is going wrong or she gets knocked down by Trump, she channels her inner Garoppolo and comes out of nowhere with some fire answers, and THEN if something else seems to not be going her way Hilldog pulls up her inner Jacoby Brissett, and is just like, I AM A POISED ROOKIE THIRD STRINGER, I AM UNSTOPPABLE LIKE THE 2016 PATRIOTS, COME AT ME AMERICA.
Really I just hope Mrs. Clinton goes with her gut and is like "I'm an ADULT and the only ADULT running for President. Enough with this bullshit, our country's problems are too big for it." Yeah, that should TOTALLY be her new campaign slogan. Anyway, good luck Hillary. I hope you do great, and afterwards that you curl up on the couch with a nice cup of tea and watch Frequency.
**Important PSA: I love Ben Affleck. Just want to make sure that's clear.
cause it's so freaking hot out right now! Still!
I know, I know, I'll be begging for mercy from the cold within a few short months, having exhausted all seven tubes of skin cream for lizards I stock up on each winter just to keep my hands looking partly human, but I am DONE with all this warmth right now! Come on weather gods! I want to wear socks! And make stew! And wear socks while making a stew!
Hmm, just had a thought of, like, is this something only New England-ers feel? Cause it's perfectly lovely out right now. I was just outside and it's beautiful. Like, why am I complaining? Who knows, maybe if it's nice out all the time you just never complain, and you're just...happy? And not even thinking about the weather? Huh. Must be weird to live in California.
Anyway, here's some sweater porn (#sweaterporn) to hold us over until fall actually gets here.
"We are constantly evolving into who we are. We are always growing." 🤔 Perhaps Hillary ate one of those crab apples your mother always told you not to eat when you were a kid cause they were probably filled with worms and would make you say stuff that sounds like you're high? Regardless, that sweater is everything and has been haunting my dreams for years.
Haters gonna hate but ya'll know if you looked this good in a cream cape and orange lipstick you'd be making this face too.
Um...yah, I'm all set GoopyG...but thanks.....
jk jk jk I go on Goop all the time and am like, tell me GoopyG, TELL ME YOUR SECRETS TO MEETING/BEING A SWEATER WHISPERER!! (But seriously tell me.)
Welp, she's done it again folks. The whisperer has spoken. This feels totally in-between seasons. Wearing it tomorrow. DONE. She's right. Goopy's always right. She knows the sweater secrets.
Like much of America, I woke up this Tuesday morning planning big things. Maybe shower. Maybe clean the bathroom. Maybe watch the first few minutes of a yoga video while eating granola and then be like "nah, I'm gonna watch Better Things on FX instead." But then we all FOUND OUT.
And I don't even know what to think. I want to say "well, love is clearly dead" but maybe love actually died when Brad left the first wife he had made vows to for another woman? But, like, whatever, shit happens, and we had all moved on as a country and ACCEPTED Brad and Angie as the duo that was actually built to last. And now they're coming at us with this shit?!? Unacceptable. I mean, I even considered watching that weird seaside french movie they made together once! But then I didn't. The point is, I do actually feel kind of sad about it. They got so many children, yo! Also, how much weed does Brad Pitt smoke? Is he just vaping left and right in a fedora on his minimalist couch all day OR WHAT? And what happens to their line of wines, now? And their villa in France? And do they not remember when all the kids drew all over her wedding dress? I have so many questions.
In all seriousness, my parents are divorced and I turned out totally fine (ha! HA!), so Shiloh, Knox, Z,, the rest of you whose names I can't remember—guys, my blog door is open if you need to chat.
Uh. RIP BRANGELINA.
(For real though, are you watching Better Things? That and Atlanta = my new fav shows.)
look at this photo all day and try to feel better? That's responsible citizenship, right?
For reals I thought this years Emmy's were great. I always love any excuse to order pizza in my bathrobe, drink cheap champagne and have my boyfriend yell at me to stop laughing at my own tweets and pay attention to him. Also, in other good news to make you forget about dumpster bombs, The First Wives Club is now available on Amazon Prime!
I feel like there are two schools of thought on sharing your goals:
1) it's stupid. don't tell anyone, just be an adult and do it
2) tell people, that way your friends at least have a chance to rip the mudslide out of your hands and be like "but you said NO MORE THAN THREE MUDSLIDES TONIGHT you know they GIVE YOU A STOMACH ACHE!!!"
Anyhow, I think option 1) is probably-to-most-definitely correct, at least with those big, important life goals. Like, "I'm going to try to be a nicer, more patient person this year" or "I'm going to write my grandfather a letter once a week." Maybe keep those to yourself. But unimportant goals like, "I want to learn how to blend foundation better on my jawline"? Those are ripe for sharing! What else is blogging for!
This is a long-winded way of me saying that for someone who writes movies I am horrible at watching them. I basically just watch the same movie over and over again (either Something's Gotta Give or A League of Their Own) while simultaneously eating yogurt. But that's about to change! Because here I am PUBLICLY declaring my new goal of watching more movies! And I'm starting with the Coen Brothers.
Okay, so recently I went to a wedding in St. Petersburg. And not St. Petersburg, Florida you plebes—St. Petersburg, Russia. (Hence my new favorite sentence "this one time, when I was at wedding a stone's throw from the Winter Palace...") Anyhow, horribly hungover on the flight home from the most decadent weekend of my life, I watched the entire second season of FARGO on the plane. I didn't sleep a wink. Basically, if you haven't watched season 1 or 2 of FARGO on FX drop whatever breakfast burrito you're eating and get thee to the nearest Apple TV stat. Cause, I mean, how good is that shit? SO CHOICE. (BTW, that's how my skills as a media reviewer work. Real prime.) For seriousness though, the combination of the acting, writing and cinematography in season 2 is enough to make a avalanche of Emmy's come pouring down the side of Noah Hawley's house and into the bathtub where he's currently taking a bubble bath at any moment. He should be careful.
FYI: Below is Noah Hawley, aka God. I bet he doesn't take bubble baths because he's too busy being a cinematic multi-threat genius who casually writes best-selling novels on the side, but he should take more baths. He deserves them.
Anyhow, when I got home I listened to a couple of interviews Mr. Hawley gave promoting the second season. He spoke (duh) about how all of the Coen Brothers movies have influenced each season of FARGO, not just the original film itself. And as I was sitting there on my bed and sweating out all the Beluga vodka I had consumed in Russia, I realized I have seen very little of the Coen Brothers oeuvre. (Yeah, that's right, I just wrote oeuvre. I went to film school. I sort of have to say things like that now.)
Don't get me wrong, I've seen a good amount of the Coen's biggest hits: Fargo and The Big Lebowski (but only once...) and I did see No Country For Old Men in theatres, but that was completely by accident. (I thought for some I was going into the sequel to Brokeback Mountain. Turns out those two movies are very different!) But Raising Arizona! Barton Fink? O Brother Where Art Thou? Nope, nope, and nope.
But the thing about dedicated movie-watching that is often so hard for me (#mylifeissohard) is that I have trouble focusing if I'm not sitting in a theatre. Like, I just like watching movies in theatres. I like sitting in the dark where I would never even think to take my phone out to check Instagram because I'm not a heathen, I like gigantic screens, I like overpriced popcorn and I like watching things with other people. So until I get that private home theatre I'm gunning for, it's hard for me to watch old movies with the same focus I give the new releases I (frequently) go to in theatres. (Shout-out to going to movies in theatres so that they're still around in 20 years!)
But you know what? I'm just going to GET BETTER at it. Some people train for marathons or study for a CPA exam: I'm gonna train not to check IMDB five times during a movie just so I can see where I know that cashier from. Plus, I think there's a lot to learn by going through a filmmakers oeuvre chronologically. (Gretchen was right: oeuvre is SO going to happen!) Okay, maybe I only think this because I took one class in grad school where we literally had to watch all of Martin Scorcese's movies chronologically, but it was freaking awesome. (And yes, we watched them all in a silent, dark theatre and therefore I absorbed the shit out of them.) Now, I feel like Scorsese's my favorite director. But perhaps that's also just because I know his film's best, and have seen his development as an artist decade after decade? This life of ours is filled with so many unanswerable questions.
Anyhow, RAISING ARIZONA is first on the list! I know absolutely nothing about this movie other than it makes me vaguely think of that Lindsay Lohan flick GEORGIA RULE? (Also, this is why people who find out I write movies and then ask me any questions about them usually end up walking away from me at parties.)
As Oprah would say, thank you for coming along on this Coen Brothers journey with me! Now go watch FARGO season 2!
Just watched FUNNY FACE for the first time, because I'm a plebe. I had NO idea Audrey Hepburn could dance. (Clearly, Beyonce was all over this ages ago, because she's Beyonce.) But, like, wtf? She's perfect.
The other night I couldn’t sleep, and it was because of plastic surgery. Or, more specifically, it was because I had recently seen a photo of a celebrity (actually not Renee Zellweger) and it had made me feel all sorts of strange inside.
Okay that sounds kind of creepy. But you know what I mean. The photo I had seen—of a beautiful famous woman who’s about fifty—was of a face I didn’t recognize from my childhood years, when I had watched this lovely woman on tv: she now had those lips that looked puffed and cartoonish and duck-ly, and those very open fake-looking eyes. Staring at the picture I felt a weird combination of confused, embarrassed, and sad. What is that, I thought. Meaning both this woman’s face, and my strong reaction to it.
Now, right off the bat, I’ll admit that I probably shouldn’t be writing anything about plastic surgery. I’ll be 30 in a couple months. It’s probably unwise, and a little tasteless, to discuss famous women twenty or so odd years older than me messing with their faces. But alas, I am not wise, nor do I have taste. Plus, this isn’t even about “older” women, anyhow. Tons of women in their thirties (what the hell Mary-Kate Olsen!) seem to be doing it too. And it freaks me out on so many levels. The first of which is not P.C. at all to say.
Because it just looks, awful. Right? Sometimes, I feel crazy thinking this. I don’t know, maybe there is something different in L.A. and New York, something they put in the water that changes what people think looks good, but I just don’t understand how having a look that screams “this is all completely fake, and also my unmoving forehead is actually a baby’s ass I bought on Craigslist and then rubbed with Crisco and attached to my skull” is supposed to be sexy. When I see these women I just think, wow, you not only ruined your beauty, but you ruined your face! I mean, your face, man! YOUR FACE. And honestly, every single time, I think, you just...really don’t look younger. (Which was the point? I think?) Instead, you look crazy. You look worse, sitcom star I once loved! It makes me sad. Do these women think they look better? Do they look better? (They don’t, right? I remain seriously confused.)
And of course to think I have a right to talk about plastic surgery at all, never having had any, is again, probably stupid. I do want to be clear that I’m not talking about the kind of plastic surgery (often done earlier in life, it seems) that truly makes someone feel better about a specific thing. I’ve had a friend get a nose job, and being a woman blessed with the gift of barely having an A cup (true story) the idea of getting breast implants has passed my mind many times. For example, it passed my mind when, as a freshman in college in Virginia, I was standing by a keg in a striped halter top from H&M that I thought I looked super fly in, and a guy walked up next to me and told me he was cutting in front of me for a beer “because I had no tits.” (The only plus side to this story is that he was a pale white dude wearing a sleeveless Celtics jersey, so even though I was on the verge of bursting into tears, I at least didn’t feel homesick!) But honestly, if you’re unhappy with something about your body, and you have the means to do something about, and you’ve thought about it a decent amount and also hopefully talked to some people about it who love you, then “you do, you!” right? I do think that. Or I want to think that. I really do, because it seems open-hearted and feminist and 2016 and all that other important shit. But at some point a line should be drawn. Like, if I ever get breast implants (which I probably won’t because they’re expensive, and also surgery is scary, and also that 2004 guy standing by the keg SUCKS) it’s not because I don’t think I am a mortal human. Likewise, if someone is unhappy with their nose and would like to change it, that doesn’t mean they now think they’ll never die. But when I see a woman who’s changed multiple parts of her face, in what appears to be a (failed) attempt to look like a younger, bionic steel-cheeked-boned version of herself, it starts making me think all these Dr. Phil-ish thoughts. Like, last time I checked, isn’t life a blessing? (It is, right?) Isn’t it a good thing to make it to 50 or 60 or 70 or 80? Isn’t it nice to have a face and be alive?
And even beyond feeling sad when I see these photos (and scared of what aging will ultimately do to my psyche one day) I feel kind of embarrassed, too. Because these women are just putting their vanity on display so God damn openly. Now, believe me, I am a vain person too (potentially very vain if I’ve been doing a lot of yoga recently and just had a bikini wax and a blowout and am avoiding my usual diet of frozen pizza, breakfast tacos and seven Babybels just for fun) but that is something I like to try to keep in the dark. It’s tacky. It’s the same reason selfies weird me out. I understand the idea behind them, but why do you ever want people to know that you’re by yourself, sticking an arm out, and then pursing your lips, and posing for a camera phone. Again: BY YOURSELF. It’s so embarrassing! Frances McDormand would vomit all over you if she saw you doing that, and she’s the best! The BEST! If one must, pose alone in the mirror while putting on your firming body cream and dancing to “Check Up On It” or whatnot, but otherwise, lock it up. I can only imagine what it would be like to walk around with an entire face screaming to everyone “I am so vain!” at all times. I look at some of these stars, and it feels both so personal and so public, like you can feel all their self-loathing about themselves and about how confusing fucking life is and then they’re in the parking lot in front of the plastic surgery place spilling coffee all over their pants and muttering about their mothers. (Do stars spill coffee on their pants and mutter about their mothers?)
And of course this isn’t just about women. Nor is what I’m talking about anyone’s “fault”, especially not the famous women who feel pressured into mauling themselves in order to get roles or stay relevant. I don’t know who’s fault it is. (The founders of Instagram! Kim Kardashian!) I do know I’m part of the problem. About a year ago, I was sitting in a restaurant with my father, doing the same song-and-dance I’ve done for about five years now. You need to lose weight. You need to drink less. You look tired. You look really tired, Dad. At one point, my father just stabbed his eggs with his fork and looked up at me and shrugged his shoulders and said, “Yeah. I’m getting old.” (Subtext: Fuck off and let me eat my breakfast.) I remember in that moment feeling very foolish, and selfish, and of course, sad, too. I mean, my father is getting old. He’s 63. His hair is 100% grey. We’re no longer stopping in the parking lot of a Fleet Bank so that he can check his beeper on our way to go see D2: Mighty Ducks. Likewise, I no longer am capable of feeling that all my happiness in life comes down to the fact that I own a baby blue lava lamp. (Life, man, am I right?) But, what are we going to do? Be constantly giving any one who openly displays the fact that none of us will live forever tremendous amounts of judgement and ridicule?
Which brings me to my boyfriend’s grandmother. She’s 80. And she looks amazing. This is partly good genes. A lot of it is style. A lot of it is care. She takes the time to put together amazing outfits. She wears make-up and jewelry and scarves and perfume. So of course, there’s vanity, but to me, it’s the healthy kind. She doesn’t have some fake, distracting, semi-terrifying plastic face. Mostly what makes her so attractive though, is who she is. I’ve known her for six years now, but I know when she’s sitting across from me and laughing until she has tears in her eyes, it’s the essence of who she’s always been—at 15, at 45, and today. She’s a riot. She’s fun. She’s the opposite of invisible. She’s happy to be alive, to have a vodka tonic and listen to a joke and make conversation, which is not an age thing. When she is in a room you want to be near her. I don’t think you can implant that in your face.
There’s no way to write about this stuff without pissing someone off. I’m pissing myself off writing this. I should be writing about the dangers of texting while driving or whatever. But, alas, this is what happens when you’re on People.com at two a.m. in the morning and you can’t fall asleep. And who knows, maybe I’ll win the lottery and get a new forehead in ten years because I can’t stand looking almost forty and then I’ll finally get boobs that look like Blake Lively’s (le sigh) and I’ll just be walking around with my giant Kylie fish lips (OH KYLIE) and perfect boobs and my hypocrisy. But I hope not. And seriously, Meryl Streep if you mess with your face, well….I don’t know I’ll probably just write a rambling blog post about it. But then I’ll cry.
Hi! I'm Caroline.