entertainment

The Weekend Five: Worst Girlfriends on Television

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Last week’s edition of The Weekend Five focused on some of the worst boyfriends on television, so as someone who believes in gender equality, I think it is only fitting for this weekend’s post to focus on the worst girlfriends on television! (I’ve also written about the worst boyfriends and worst girlfriends in literature.) We may be huge fans of these characters, but I doubt that any of us would, in good conscience, introduce these ladies to the single males in our lives.

What TV character do you think would make a terrible girlfriend? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

The Weekend Five: Worst Girlfriends on Television

1. Marissa Cooper (The O.C.)
Okay, this show has been off the air for quite a long time, but Marissa Cooper was a memorable teen soap character for so many reasons — mainly, the drama she often brought with her. From shoplifting to dating the lawn guy just to upset her mother, Marissa constantly needed to be rescued, and often dragged the men in her life (especially bad boy next door Ryan Atwood) down with her. While nice enough on her own, Marissa Cooper was always better off single.

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2. Catherine de’Medici (Reign).
I mentioned Catherine’s husband (King Henry of France) in last weekend’s post, but of course he didn’t get to be the way he was on his own. The fictional version of Catherine de’Medici is power-hungry and conniving, not to mention one of the worst mother-in-laws currently on TV. You wouldn’t date her for the same reasons you wouldn’t date Lady Macbeth.

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Jan3. Jan Levenson (The Office).
The Office may no longer be airing new episodes, but Jan still stands out as terrible girlfriend on TV. Once the love interest of Michael Scott, Jan revealed herself to be crazy and unpredictable over the course of the series. After losing her job and moving in with Michael, she even commands him to get a vasectomy, reverse vasectomy and another vasectomy at different points. Jan becomes even more insane and uncomfortable to watch over time… which means that she does not get better with age. Better avoid this one!

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4. Paige McCullers (Pretty Little Liars).
A lot of Pretty Little Liars fans enjoy Paige’s character and believe that she and Emily Fields (one of the Liars) make a great couple. However, what people fail to remember is that before the two high school swimmers ever dated, Paige tried to drown Emily in the pool during a fit of jealousy. Someone like that is not someone you should ever trust again in close quarters!

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ouat5. Emma Swan (Once Upon a Time).
Let me preface this by saying that Emma, the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, is an awesome heroine and an interesting character to follow. I have nothing against her. But bad things seem to happen to the men who fall for her: the Huntsman has his heart literally crushed by the Evil Queen, Adult Pinocchio almost dies and is returned to childhood, her New York boyfriend turns into a flying monkey, and don’t get me started on Neal/Baelfire, the father of her son! While I am not-so-secretly rooting for Emma and Captain Hook to wind up together, I fear for his own safety in a relationship with Emma (a.k.a. The Savior). Besides, Emma is often too focused on breaking a curse or saving the town to even think about being in a relationship!

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Your turn! What TV characters do you think would make the worst girlfriends?

How To Win “The Bachelor”

bachelor-juan-pablo-galavisIt’s Monday night, and for many of us (read: women across the country between the ages of 18-49), that means it’s time to tune into the latest episode of The Bachelor. Now, I have not disillusioned myself into believing that this is the ideal way to entrap attract your ideal mate, but I’ll admit that the show can be incredibly addictive, even if you aren’t enamored with bachelor du jour Juan Pablo Galavais.

On each season of The Bachelor, grown women cry when a man they barely know (but have determined is the only man for them) decides he doesn’t feel an immediate connection and sends them home without a rose. Of course, much heartache and suffering could be spared if these women learned the ins and outs of wooing America’s bachelor. Luckily, through several viewings, I have been able to unlock the code for winning The Bachelor competition, and I’m sharing the wealth with you! Ladies, if you’re thinking of auditioning for The Bachelor, look no further. This guide will guarantee you airtime and at least a spot in the final four, if not a proposal.

You do not talk about winning The Bachelor.
Although The Bachelor is, in fact, a dating competition, you are not supposed to acknowledge this. To do so is a HUGE betrayal to both the Bachelor himself and to the other contestants, who will personally take offense to the fact that you see them as competition. Instead, befriend everyone to a degree, and look down upon anyone who says, “I’m not here to make friends. I’m here to find love.” This person will emerge as the season’s villain, and will rarely win.

courtney-the-bachelorYou DO NOT talk about winning The Bachelor.
Seriously, must I repeat myself?

Have a cliché catchphrase that is SO you.
My favorite is, “You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.” Wear a sundress with cowboy boots and find a meadow to stroll through while you say this, because it creates a nice visual that viewers will find charming, feminine and nonthreatening.

Turn your dates into metaphors.
Going cliff-diving? Tell the camera crews that you can’t wait to “take the plunge” or “take a leap of faith” with The Bachelor. Spending the night in a dark cave? “___ has made me see the light.” Be creative but not too creative – your metaphors should be accurate, but still somewhat predictable in relation to the date itself. The more you are able to do this, the more airtime the producers will give you, so that even if The Bachelor doesn’t fall in love with you, America will.

the-bachelorMake dramatic confessions that aren’t that dramatic.
It is important to “open up” in a serious but not too serious way. For example, tell The Bachelor that you have a confession to make, and then confess that your parents have been married for 30 years and that you want a marriage like theirs. You can brush on family life and loosely discuss past relationships, but avoid any mention of political beliefs, religion, or anything else that could cause discomfort. Instead, wait until he proposes and then let it slip out when your families meet.

Be memorable, but not too memorable.
Quirkiness can come across as adorable, but you can only take it so far. There is a difference between “Zooey Deschanel–quirky” and “I am growing a mustache on purpose and I have a pet possum” quirky. Try to avoid the latter.

the-bachelor-lindsay-shows-up-in-wedding-dress-shocks-sean-455x422Stock up on evening-wear and casual “I put 4 hours into looking effortless and low maintenance” outfits.
This shows that you can be the graceful trophy wife he’ll want to show off to all of his friends, but that you’re also laidback and “up for anything.” Buy as many evening gowns and cocktail dresses as you can, because you will be seen in them and you can’t wear the same thing twice on television.

Stay out of the drama.
As soon as you tattle on one of the other girls (even if she is 100 percent wrong), you will be sent home – or, at the very least, you will be the last to receive a rose in that night’s ceremony. Even worse, the girl you’ve told on will likely receive the rose before you do! If you think that someone is doing something wrong, encourage one of your “friends” in the house to tell on her instead!

Fall for him immediately.
It doesn’t matter that he’s two feet shorter in person than you imagined him. It doesn’t matter that you have nothing of substance to talk about. It doesn’t matter that he embodies most, if not all, of your pet peeves. As a contestant on the show, you are not allowed to have an opinion on these things. Because of this, you need to envision a future with The Bachelor immediately and talk about it a lot when interviewed.

Worst case, you can always tragically exit from the show and become the next Bachelorette! :)

Spoiler Alert: Next Season on ‘The Real World’

1333904005936_3463943After a week-long reality TV binge, I discovered an entirely new talent worth pursuing: casting for MTV shows. Although I lack the personality traits of the typical reality show contestant, I have watched enough to know how to handpick the perfect cast.

Because of this, I would like to provide my own guide on how to select seven strangers to live in a house, have their lives taped and stop being polite/start getting real.

1. Everyone should have an affinity for going out and drinking. Potential cast members, this is the time when you should talk about your love for tequila shots in an interview. If you like to stay in some nights and curl up with a book, you are clearly in the minority of all people between the ages of 18 and 24 and therefore shouldn’t even audition. You should be ashamed of yourself.

2. Make sure that one cast member has been sheltered for most of her life, and likely to make naive comments. This person is likely to bring a lot of the comic relief to the show, albeit unintentionally.

3. Choose one member of the LGBTQ community, and one person who is “uncomfortable” with homosexuality. This person is probably from the South. This person may also overlap with the person from #2, and his/her discomfort may border on bigotry. The two will probably share a bedroom.

real-world-logo4. Select one cast member who is in a committed relationship. The other cast members will mock this person when they find out she (it’s always a “she”) doesn’t plan on hooking up while on the show. She will claim to love her boyfriend, but they will either break up preemptively because of their perceived long-distance relationship problems (mini rant: um, hello? you will only be long-distance for two months at most, so just chill out and enjoy a new city for a change!) or she will cheat on him with one of the other housemates.

5. Select one cast member who wants to be single and vows never to date any of the housemates. This person will fall in love within the first two weeks of the show.

6. The more explosive the personality, the better. Pick cast members who “tell it like it is” and aren’t afraid to confront each other.
7. Look for at least one person with serious emotional issues. Instead of referring him or her to a professional, cast this person on your show. He or she will quickly reveal his or her deepest secrets with the other roommates in a matter of days.

8. Select at least one male cast member who is clearly only in it to get girls. Chances are, he will bring a lot of young ladies back to the house, where they will make a mockery of themselves and maybe even boost ratings.

9. Select at least one cast member with a dark and hidden past. He or she will share this information with the cameras on Day One, but act completely shocked when he or she learns that the whole world is about to find out his or her secret.

10. Leave them in a house together with access to only certain bars, restaurants, stores and attractions. The drama will unfold on its own – no scripting required!

Readers, am I missing any of the core casting rules? Who would you look to cast?

What If “The Bachelorette” Realistically Portrayed Relationships?

931245_581100941922086_1773207484_nThis week on The Bachelorette, Desiree treated the men to a group date with rapper Soulja Boy, where they filmed their very own rap music video parodying the show’s earlier seasons’ contestants. This group date, although entertaining to watch, was probably one of the more ridiculous dates ever filmed on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, and this is coming from a girl who already thinks the show is bananas. (The whole time, I not-so-secretly hoped that Desiree would give the rose to Soulja Boy, and that they would ride off into the sunset together in the convertible that ABC gave her for the show.) Meanwhile, on the first one-on-one date, Desiree exhibited stage-five clinger behavior by wearing a wedding dress for the afternoon. As someone who is not a total cynic when it comes to relationships, and for whom marriage may one day be on the horizon (albeit a horizon on a distant planet that hasn’t been discovered yet), I would like to warn men everywhere that if a woman wears a wedding dress on the first date, it may be wise to change one’s phone number. But I digress…

Reality dating shows are never realistic. We accept this as fact from the moment we begin watching, and so when we learn that the Bachelor du jour and his pretty blonde administrative assistant fiancee have called it quits just months after taping, we are not even remotely surprised. We’ve been expecting this the entire time.

brad-womack-proposes-to-emily-on-the-bachelor-march-2011I’ve been observing the mockery that shows like The Bachelor and The Bachelorette make of dating and relationships. They follow the same basic formula: A woman meets 25 attractive men, goes on adventurous dates that are somehow metaphors for the relationship, converses with them about what love means and what their past relationships were like, whittles it down to a few top contenders and chooses her final match while an 80s love song plays in the background. The men in the house create their own drama, ultimately ganging up on the one man who seems to want the other men out of the picture. The conversations are superficial at best, and the word “engagement” becomes synonymous with “dating someone exclusively and not ruling out an eventual marriage.”

Of course, these shows are purely for entertainment… but what if they weren’t? What if shows like The Bachelor and The Bachelorette actually portrayed a budding relationship more accurately?

The show would go something like this: A woman meets 25 men. Some of them are attractive in a generic sense, some are not as traditionally handsome but interesting enough in a way that she finds especially attractive, and some are just not her type but are worth a shot. On the first night, she eliminates several of the men because, while briefly dating them might be nice, she can tell that the long-term potential isn’t there, and she doesn’t want to waste their time by making them sit through a few more doomed weeks on the show. Her first dates with each of the contestants are extravagant and fun, but as the show wears on, the conversations become more serious, and instead of having endless discussions about “love” and trying to vaguely define it, they discuss their interests, goals (not just family-oriented, but personal goals too), preferred parenting methods… and perhaps, eventually, taboo topics like religion and politics.

JEF, EMILY MAYNARDNot all of the men fall immediately in love with her, and some will leave the show on their own accord because they don’t see a future. Some are there to take advantage. The woman may weed some of those out, but a few may slip through the cracks.

Not all of the dates are wildly glamorous – some include movie nights and grocery shopping and day-to-day tasks that normal, non-TV couples have to endure. The woman’s friends may meet the contestants at one point and provide their own two cents, because sometimes there are red flags in relationships that we are unable to see. On one date, the woman takes a contestant to an important work event in order to see how he interacts with her co-workers and how he would behave at these functions if they dated long-term.

Occasionally, the woman may argue with the contestants, but this doesn’t cause her to send them packing. Arguments are normal; the way they are dealt with determines whether or not the woman will keep the contestant around.

The woman says “I love you” when she feels ready, not when she is contractually obligated to do so. She sends all but one man home when she knows whom she cares for the most and sees the most potential with. (She doesn’t need to send three men to the fantasy suite before deciding!) The show does not end in an engagement, because they haven’t known each other long enough to commit to something so serious, but the dates do give her an idea of how they would behave in a relationship together.

Of course, none of this would ever last for more than a season because it would hit too close to home! Maybe we like to suspend disbelief for two hours a week, so that we can observe these snapshots of “love” without letting it border too closely to our own relationships. What would your version of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette entail?

Spoiler Alert: Episode Guide to the (Completely Fake) 10th Season of “The Bachelorette”

logo_Bachelorette_pierlogoOnAirSeason 9 of The Bachelorette premiered last night, and with it came all of the show’s usual tropes. Although I haven’t been a long-time viewer of these reality dating shows (I’ve seen one other season of The Bachelorette and the past two seasons of The Bachelor, which are more than enough!), I have picked up on some of these shows’ patterns over time.

six Because of this, I would like to present a full episode-by-episode guide of the not-yet-filmed, not-yet-announced Season 10 of The Bachelorette, based entirely on my own predictions. Please be aware that the article you are about to read may or may not contain some serious spoilers! ;) Enjoy!

WEEK ONE
Meet Kacie B, an administrative assistant from Tennessee. You may recognize her from Seasons 16 and 17 of The Bachelor, in which she gave her heart to a handsome stranger but was sent home without a rose. What you may not know was that she made her next appearance on Season 18 of The Bachelor in 2014, where she declared her love for magician/custom clothier Nick Roy of Season 9, but was once again rejected. This time, it’s Kacie’s turn to find love. Kacie spends the bulk of the episode using the words “love,” “marriage” and “fairytale ending” (Don’t believe me? Make it a drinking game!). Cue footage of Kacie doing adorable things, like baton twirling and gazing soulfully into sunsets. Twenty-five eligible bachelors arrive at the mansion, introducing themselves to Kacie in the most ridiculous ways possible. At the rose ceremony, Kacie sends home some of tonight’s goofier personalities (read: the six guys with the least impressive abs). Each man proceeds to tear up as he tells the camera crew that this was his only shot at love.

WEEK TWO
The 19 remaining men begin to interact with one another in the house, and cliques are formed. Johnny, the investment banker from Chicago, has a particular hatred for Hayden, a much richer investment banker from Chicago, which becomes increasingly apparent throughout the episode. Hayden emerges as the Season 10 villain. Kacie goes for a helicopter ride followed by a picnic in a cave with Travis the ski instructor, and offers him a rose after they discuss, in vague terms, what “love” really means. Kacie then brings 12 of the other men on a group date at the mall, where they must demonstrate how perfectly they will be able to carry her bags and pay for her things. She offers the rose to Hayden, much to the chagrin of the other young men. (Johnny is noticeably absent from the group date.) The next evening at the cocktail party, she enjoys a few more vague conversations, before heading out to the rose ceremony. During the ceremony, Kacie sends home four more eligible bachelors: two advertising executives, an investment banker and an exotic animal farmer.

imagesWEEK THREE
The episode begins with a two-on-one date – Kacie invites Jacob, a contractor, and Edward, an entrepreneur, out to the woods to set up camp and make s’mores. Edward reveals that he had a divorce two years ago, but that he is ready for love. Kacie sends Jacob home for his inability to “open up,” and offers the rose to Edward. For the group date, 10 of the men are invited to compete against one another in a cage fight, refereed by Kacie as they “fight for her heart.” Chris C., a bodybuilder, wins the rose. Kacie then invites Mark, an investment banker, to a country music concert amidst a fake audience, set up entirely for the show. Kacie and Mark share their first kiss under fireworks (of course), and she offers him the rose even though they haven’t really talked much. At the rose ceremony, Kacie tells the men that she is confident that her future husband is in the room. From afar, Chris Harrison sighs, knowing deep down that he is not the man she is talking about. She then eliminates three men: a personal trainer, a sports marketing executive and an investment banker. The group has been whittled down to 11 contestants.

WEEK FOUR
Hayden receives a one-on-one date. Johnny is livid, and feels the need to tell everybody. “She doesn’t see that side of him that we see!” he exclaims, the other men nodding in agreement. Hayden charms Kacie on the one-on-one, reading a letter he wrote for her about the qualities he looks for in a woman (although none of these have been officially established in Kacie yet). Kacie offers him the rose. Now Johnny is even more livid. On the group date, the men help Kacie as she balances her checkbook. Chris R., an accountant, receives the rose. During the cocktail party, Mark steals Kacie away to kiss her, but little do they know that Johnny is lurking in the shadows. Later in the night, Johnny pulls Kacie away to inform her that not all of the guys in the house are being 100 percent genuine with her. Kacie expresses her confusion to the camera crew, stating that Johnny had seemed so nice but that she can’t deal with a snitch. In the final rose ceremony, she sends home Xander the undertaker. She gives Johnny the rose, but tells him he is on thin ice.

mjaxmy0xmdg3nwzingy0mgi5ytuzWEEK FIVE
The contestants travel to a private Caribbean island, where Kacie solely wears bikinis and maxi skirts. Kacie invites Caden, a telemarketer, and Chris L., a professional square-dancer, on a two-on-one date on a boat, where she proceeds to send Caden home for having a ridiculous name. Chris L. receives the rose. Before the group date can proceed, Chris Harrison shows up at Kacie’s hotel room and informs her that Edward is still married. Edward’s wife shows up at the contestants’ suite, demanding to know what he has been doing for the past month and why he never brought home her dry cleaning. Edward is kicked off of the show, and Kacie cries that she may never trust anyone again. She decides not to attend her group date that evening, and instead does a little soul-searching until the final cocktail party. That night, she apologizes to the men and to herself for losing sight of what love is really about, and she pursues one-on-one time with each of the men. At the final rose ceremony, she eliminates Blake the alchemist after deciding she’s not a huge fan of magic.

WEEK SIX
The group travels to a lesser known country in Eastern Europe. Kacie takes Johnny on his first one-on-one date, where she explains some love-related ritual native to that country, and they spend the rest of the day walking around on the cobblestone in evening attire. Johnny talks about his dysfunctional family and explains that his childhood is what made him who he is, and Kacie gives him the rose as a reward for opening up about his past. Johnny tells the camera crews that he is in love with Kacie. On the group date, the men learn a dance that is indigenous to the region they are in, and they must perform it for Kacie. Kacie gives the rose to Mark. At the final rose ceremony, she sends home Finn the yoga instructor, who hasn’t received enough airtime to be interesting at this point.

tumblr_m07eozFUn91qf6addWEEK SEVEN
The contestants have made their way to an island in the Pacific. Hayden has begun to pick fights with the other contestants, stating that he doesn’t want to become friends with any of them, while hinting that he may have a shot at becoming the next Bachelor. Kacie invites Mark on another one-on-one date, where they kiss on the beach and build sandcastles. Kacie tells the camera crew that Mark is a great kisser. The two talk about the importance of love in a marriage, and she offers him the rose. Kacie then invites Hayden and Johnny on a two-on-one date, where they take surfing lessons and learn to “ride the waves of love.” Kacie sends Johnny home after noticing his competitive streak with Hayden. Johnny cries to the cameras that he will never love this way again. Kacie and Chris C. go on a one-on-one date, where they dance with the locals and eat a meal specially prepared for them. Chris C. confides in Kacie that she needs to be careful with Hayden because he isn’t who he says he is. Kacie wonders if she made a mistake. She offers the rose to Chris C. and eliminates Chris L. in the final rose ceremony because she forgot he was still there.

tierra-ble1WEEK EIGHT
The group travels to Alaska. On the one-on-one date, Kacie and Chris R. talk about family values while making snow angels. Kacie decides that she has a real connection with Chris R., and offers him the rose. Kacie forgoes the group date and goes on one additional one-on-one date with Travis, who (like Chris C.) warns her about Hayden’s motives. She thinks that she could have attractive babies with Travis, so she offers him the rose. Later, Hayden parades around the hotel with a bouquet of roses, pretending he is the next Bachelor. Suspicious of what she’s heard, Kacie shows up at the boys’ hotel room and is shocked when she walks in on Hayden standing in front of a mirror, asking his reflection, “Will you accept this rose?” She immediately sends him home, then cries to the camera that there are no good men left. The rose ceremony is canceled, and the remaining men are safe.

WEEK NINE
Time for hometown dates! Kacie visits Mark in Arizona, where his family welcomes her with open arms. They admit that Mark hasn’t brought a lot of girls home in the past, possibly because he hasn’t been serious enough about any of them. Kacie questions whether or not Mark is serious about her, but then he tells her he loves her. Kacie then travels to Georgia to meet Chris R.’s family, who is very conservative but accepting of the relationship. In Florida, Kacie meets Chris C.’s family, all of whom like to pad his ego by showing off his bodybuilding and sports trophies; however, they are very vocal about their disapproval when it comes to their son being on the show. Finally, in New York, Kacie meets Travis’ siblings (his parents are out of town for a cult meeting), and his brother tells Kacie that she would be perfect for Travis. At the final rose ceremony, Kacie sends Chris C. home.

images-1WEEK TEN
The group travels to another private island in the Caribbean. During one-on-one dates, Kacie discusses the meaning of love and marriage in abstract terms for the umpteenth time with each of the men. She invites each to the fantasy suite after hearing some form of declaration of love. At the final rose ceremony, Kacie eliminates Chris R. for not opening up enough.

WEEK ELEVEN
Kacie grins as she tells the cameras she can’t wait to buy a wedding dress and start having babies. Product placement ensues as Travis and Mark are each shown separately picking out Neil Lane engagement rings. Kacie introduces each man separately to her parents, who have a hotel suite out here and still disapprove of her being on television. They refuse to give their support to either contestant. Kacie cries to the producers that she is falling for two men, and that she doesn’t know what to do. After a night of rest and staring at their framed photos, however, she gains clarity and in her voiceover, she states that she now knows which man she wants to be with. Travis talks about the meaning of love and states that Kacie would be the perfect wife, then proposes to her. She turns him down because she fears he might not open up enough in the future. Then Mark talks about how Kacie has made his life meaningful, and proposes to her. She rejects him as well, because she fears that the only thing they have in common is that they are physically attracted to each other. Chris Harrison then walks out, asking Kacie what she plans to do next. Kacie bends down on one knee, then tells Chris she wants to marry him. The two ride ride happily into the sunset on a white horse.

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Sorry for the spoilers! ;) Hope you enjoyed!

The Weekend Five: Alternative Job Choices

sean-lowe-300Tomorrow I will embark on the first day of my career, and I am extremely excited to begin working full-time in a job that relates closely to my Bachelor’s degree. In the past, I have discussed my earlier struggles with selecting an undergraduate major and career path, but when I talked about the roads I didn’t take (psychologist/teacher/journalist/anthropologist/etc.), I may have left a few out! :)

This week’s post will dive further into some of those alternative career choices I decided to forgo, some of which may even inspire you! Feel free to include your own in the comments section below.

The Weekend Five: Alternative Job Choices

1. Camera crew member for The Bachelor.
I love to work behind the camera – why not transfer that passion to the small screen? As a camera crew member on The Bachelor, my main purpose would be to film pensive scenes of the bachelor du jour as he skips rocks across a nearby lake, runs on a treadmill and watches the sunset while hoping to meet his future wife. I would also have the opportunity to interview women with too much Botox as they simultaneously complain about other women in the house and pine for a man with whom they have been on two group dates. It’s just like high school all over again (minus the Botox)!

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2. The Bachelorette.
After spending sufficient time behind the scenes of The Bachelor, I could easily get my foot in the door for my own chance at “love” on national television by becoming The Bachelorette.  Not only would I have access to unlimited evening dresses, but I would be able to discuss superficial topics with guys from all over the country while we fly in a helicopter over some beautiful canyon or glacier. If anything, this job would allow me to put my passport to good use!

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thrift-shop-macklemore-ryan-lewis-onesie3. Macklemore’s personal shopper.
Imagine getting paid to run around through thrift stores and pick out quirky, vintage clothing and accessories. Wouldn’t you feel pretty “pumped up” about the situation? I would have so much fun sifting through garments and putting together crazy outfit combinations so that Mackemore could go and get some compliments.

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4. Voice recording for 1-800 numbers.
For some strange reason, I really enjoy talking in a somewhat robotic telephone voice. I can still imitate the automated phone messages that my high school used to send my parents if my sister or I were marked absent in any of our classes. If that isn’t reason enough to hire me for this type of position, then I don’t know what is.

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5. A “source” for the tabloids.
I always wonder who these “sources” really are, and why they would spill secrets to the tabloids if they were really the celebrity’s “friend.” Although I don’t keep up with celebrity gossip in the way that I used to, I still occasionally will peek at the trashy magazines in the grocery stores. Every time I read a quote from a “source,” however, I take their words with a grain of salt because that unnamed source could be anybody: the garbageman who drives by the celebrity’s house twice a week, the waitress that served the celebrity once, some guy who has the same last name as the celebrity… So really, if anyone can do it, why can’t I? It would be like a fun exercise in fiction writing, and perhaps a stepping stone to my eventual career as an author. ;)

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What are some of your weird “alternative” jobs?

The Weekend Five: Blasphemy Day Edition

September 30th is Blasphemy Day, a day in which people are encouraged to speak openly against religion. Of course, I don’t like to bring political or religious issues to my blog in respect to my lovely and diverse readers, but in honor of the so-called holiday, today’s Weekend Five will focus on some of my less popular opinions and interests as they relate to pop culture. (See, it’s loosely related to the idea of blasphemy!)

This post isn’t meant to offend or cause arguments, but rather to share with readers! Feel free to post a comment with your own words of blasphemy. :)

The Weekend Five: Blasphemy Day Edition

1. I’m not a fan of The Beatles.
I say this with the slight fear that all of my friends will read this and subsequently disown me. The Beatles made a huge splash in music, and the band has a strong following to this day, but I just can’t get into it. While I like a few of their songs (namely Here Comes The Sun and I Wanna Hold Your Hand), the rest of their work is just background for me. I appreciate the impact they had on our culture — and I couldn’t resist snapping an Abbey Road-style photo with friends while in London — but I will probably never choose to listen to several of their songs in one sitting.

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2. I have no interest in video games.
I should preface this by mentioning that at least half of my friends in college are engineering majors and that video games are very important to them. Of course, this makes it slightly awkward when I casually mention that I’ve played Halo maybe once (and had no idea what was going on). Growing up, I was never allowed to have video games, so my only gaming experience consisted of Super Mario Brothers on the Nintendo-64 or in the waiting room at my dentist. Because of that, I never really developed an interest when I was older, and now when people are playing it in social situations, I usually find myself staring at my phone instead.

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3. Squidward is my favorite character in Bikini Bottom.
I will never forget my (now ex) boyfriend’s reaction when I told him that Squidward was my favorite — “I can’t believe I’m dating a Squidward sympathizer!” I haven’t seen an episode of the Nickelodeon show in a long time, but Spongebob himself always made me extremely uncomfortable because of the chaos that followed him. I always pitied Squidward for having such inconsiderate neighbors. Sure, he’s a bit of a grouch, but can’t he just play his clarinet in peace? I would be grumpy too if a sponge with bad teeth and a barely functional starfish were constantly at my door, throwing me into situations I didn’t want to be part of.

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4. I think Nicholas Sparks’ work is overrated.
As much as I cried reading A Walk to Remember and watching the film adaptation of The Notebook, I’m just not a huge fan of his other work. Not only did I not enjoy the novel version of The Notebook (le gasp!), but I find the love stories in most of them to be too melodramatic and maybe even formulaic for my taste. I’ll admit that I love romantic comedies as much as the next girl, but I have trouble thoroughly enjoying a book that uses the term “making love” more than once in the same paragraph.

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5. I liked the newer Star Wars trilogy.
I’m not going to get too specific about my Star Wars history, but in spite of everything that every real Star Wars fan has ever said, I will admit these three things:

a) I liked the new movies.

b) I think C3PO is charming and adorable, even though most people I talk to seem to dislike him.

c) I don’t care what they say about George Lucas not being able to write a love story — I enjoyed the love story of Anakin and Padme (even though she seems a lot older than he is). Maybe this has something to do with the fact that Hayden Christensen is extremely attractive, but I’m sticking to my opinions and don’t feel the need to defend them. ;)

What are some of your unpopular opinions or likes/dislikes that you would like to share? (No political or religious posts, please!)

Battle of the Grand Gestures vs. The Little Things

I’ve always wondered what really happened after the final scenes of a romantic comedy. Sure, the two lead characters share a romantic kiss atop the Empire State Building/in the rain at the big football game/as the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve/in the middle of someone else’s wedding, but then what? Will they ride off into the sunset with the promise of spending the rest of their lives together, or will they break up in a few months because of all of the conflict and dysfunction that led up to their change of heart and so-called “happily ever after” moment?

Of course, because most of these movies are fiction, the world will never know. Nevertheless, the entire romantic comedy genre still seems to have a huge impact on the way many of us conceptualize love and relationships. After all, at one point, nearly every (straight) girl has wanted to snag a bad boy who would change his ways for her… because it happens in the movies all the time. Plenty of girls and guys I know have enjoyed the whole “tortured love story” routine, dating someone they fight with every day and have no practical future with because – if things did work out – wouldn’t it be romantic to overcome all odds to be with your soulmate? Because sprinkled in between all the fighting and chaos are the occasional grand proclamations and outpourings of affection, complete with horse-drawn carriages and fireworks.

However, based on observation, I firmly believe that it’s the little things that take place day to day that matter far more than these enormous gestures. After all, you can only declare your love for someone atop the Empire State Building or pay a marching band to play Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You so many times before you: a) get sick of New York, or b) run out of money.

Unfortunately, the grand gestures that the movies teach us to expect and crave are generally only used for apologies. We never really see the characters doing nice things for each other just because. While I understand that movies aren’t long enough to depict real relationships in their entirety, I do think we need to take the grand gestures with a grain of salt and realize that relationships are more than a few pivotal moments. They consist of the little moments as well — the ones that seem perfectly inconsequential — and the way you treat one another in general on a daily basis.

Realize that doing kind things for the person you care about shouldn’t be reserved for apologies, and that the grand gestures aren’t the only important parts of a relationship of any kind.

The Weekend Five: Brutally Honest Reality TV Shows

As I’ve mentioned in several of my previous posts, reality television is my guilty pleasure. Although I love high-brow entertainment as much as the next college-educated girl, I can’t help but become engrossed in some of the more ridiculous shows that have graced our pop culture, as well. Because of this, today’s Weekend Five will focus on some of the shows that don’t technically exist but should. Feel free to add your own in the comments section below!

The Weekend Five: Brutally Honest Reality TV Shows

1. Self-Entitled Rich Girls Trying To Take Themselves Seriously.
This show would feature a fashionable heiress just trying to make her way in the world by starting her own clothing line. With a football-player boyfriend and a miniature dog she can carry in her purse, the heiress spends her free time shopping, drinking coffee and complaining to her friends about how her boyfriend still hasn’t proposed. The show’s real breakout star, however, is her gay best friend whose snarky responses are the main reason to keep watching.

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2. True Life: I Was Irrelevant Two Seasons Ago.
This is the show that keeps on giving. The stars? Oh, just a group of seven or eight familiar but useless reality TV personalities who stopped being interesting a long time ago. Why do they still have a show? I guess someone is still around to watch it.

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3. Living Vicariously Through My Five-Year-Old Daughter.
Each episode features a mother with a “talented” five-year-old who excels in some area, mostly because of her mother’s pushing. The moms are a colorful group of competitive, washed out individuals who claim to be the authority on their daughters’ areas of interest (pageants, dance, cheerleading, you name it!). Watch as the moms get into catfights and exploit their children for money. Warning: do not look at this show as a how-to guide for parenting.

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4. Moral Degradation and the Rise of the Snooki.
This documentary series explores the downfall of 21st century society and its inundation of fist pumps, big hair and gratuitous partying. Narrated by Morgan Freeman.

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5. I Didn’t Know I Was a Pregnant Teenage Hoarder.
Experience the drama that ensues when a teenager learns that not only has her collecting become a serious problem, but she also happens to be pregnant! Watch as she goes through therapy, raises a child without the help of the father (Kevin Federline) and graces the covers of Us Weekly.

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What brutally honest reality television shows would you like to see?

The Weekend Five: Lessons Learned From Teen Soap Operas

As my not-so-crazy teen years progressed, so too did my love for crazy teen soap operas. Although a few of my friends categorized our favorite TV shows as dramas, deep down we all knew what we were watching: watered down, modernized versions of the stereotypical soap operas that we made fun of the older generation for watching.

Nowadays, these shows provide more for me than mere nostalgic entertainment; rather, each far-fetched plotline has something new to teach us. This week, we will uncover the deeper meanings behind some of these shows, and learn more about the true lessons that teen soap operas have to offer.

The Weekend Five: Lessons Learned From Teen Soap Operas

1. When you go to a benefit dinner, school dance or any other event that requires formal attire, you are asking for trouble.
Forget the fact that these fancy events seem to take place every week in your town, or the fact that your classmates all own enough evening wear to avoid repeating an outfit. In teen soap operas, whether you’ve gone to cotillion or a save-the-dodo-birds dinner, something bad is bound to happen. Maybe Tori Spelling will get totally sloshed at the prom, or perhaps two grown men will get into a fistfight over a financial dispute. Either way, it is best to avoid these events — it seems all drama will come to a head here.

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2. It is important for every combination of two people in your group of friends to date.
Remember that time when you were in high school and you thought that you and a certain lacrosse star boyfriend would get married? Meanwhile, your best friend dated a loner from the wrong side of town. One day, you fell in love with the lacrosse star’s completely immoral best friend, until he sold you for a hotel, and then you decided to date the aforementioned loner. Your best friend tried a relationship with the lacrosse star when things with the loner didn’t work out, but now her half-sister has gotten to him. Sound familiar? It happened on Gossip Girl, of course, but these dating patterns don’t end here! By this logic, you should take a page out of Blair and Serena’s handbook and date everyone you know.

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3. Every school assignment you ever receive will have something to do with a major theme in your life.
Whether your teacher pairs you up with someone you wouldn’t normally work with, or the book you’ve been reading for class utilizes some kind of symbolism that unlocks a clue to the murder you’re trying to solve, school is important. After all, it wouldn’t get so much airtime if it wasn’t!

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4. There are a lot of awkward ways to respond to an “I love you,” and chances are, you will use at least one of them.
The most common offender is a simple “Thank you,” to which your friends will later laugh and quip, “At least you were polite.” You can also opt not to say anything at all, or you could find an equally awkward way to reply. Teen soap operas teach us that we are all very likely to stick our feet in our mouth when it matters the most, but that we will also fix our situations with a grand gesture within a few days, and all will be right in the world again.

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5. The most meaningful moments of your life should be scored with a delicate balance of indie and pop music.
One would think that the songs on the radio are the most important songs to play on a teen soap opera, but that isn’t always the case. Teens love listening to obscure bands they can brag about later on, so inserting songs by more mainstream-indie groups such as Death Cab for Cutie and Keane allows for a much better transition to ultimate hipsterdom. The next time you’re about to experience a first kiss, I dare you to turn on Somewhere Only We Know. The moment will instantly become more meaningful, and you will become slightly edgier.

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What have you learned from your favorite teen soaps?