I have a serious problem. I cannot stop buying things on Amazon.
It is just too convenient. Especially since my car broke down, it's so much easier to order something that will be delivered to you in two days than go to a physical store where you have to interact with human beings and probably also get dressed.
Convenience and ease aside, I really don't need most of these things. Why do I buy them then, you may ask? Well, let's try to figure that out.
By the way-- just in case anyone reading this thought I might be sponsored to do this, I would just like to clear the air and make it known that of course I am not being sponsored how many people do you think read this thing?
This is a real item that I purchased (as is everything that follows). It is literally a plush toy in the likeness of a piece of tamago sushi, which happens to be one of my favorite kinds of sushi (it's basically an omelet on rice, which sounds more strange than it is). Why do I need this? Why did I spend $11.99 on this? Well. It's soft. It's cute. Oh god, the buyer's remorse.
Next, I spent my hard-earned money on these shoes, except I bought them in red. Yes, imagine that ridiculousness in red. That is what I own. I'm not going to assume that this is everyone's style, but come on, even if you're not a pom-pom type of person, you have to admit that these are fairly fabulous. Of course, the pom-pom on the left shoe actually fell off. It's fine. I'm fine. I do not regret this purchase. That is what I like to tell myself.
Okay, but electroluminescent wire is actually super cool. For the uninitiated, they're basically long, flexible, portable LED lights that you can mold into shapes. I like to make faux-neon signs out of them. No, I haven't done anything yet with the 9 feet of red electroluminescent wire I bought on Amazon, but like, I will, one day. Eventually.
This is a 33-piece beginner's calligraphy set. I have never done calligraphy before. When I was at my sickest peak on the mono-rollercoaster, I bought this so that I didn't feel like I was wasting my youth. Why not spend all the time in bed trying to teach myself a new skill? Sigh. I am my harshest critic. Anyway, calligraphy is very hard and so far I am awful at it.
Embarrassingly, I am super excited about this. It's an iPhone case with a really quite beautiful, vintage-y winter scene on the back, complete with Santa in his sleigh, and silver stars, glitter, and sparkle that actually move around as though your phone is a snow globe. I really think this is beyond awesome. I have a lot of holiday spirit. Some might say too much.
This final purchase is the most inexplicable yet. I have never seen the movie Top Gun. I have no need for this jumpsuit. Halloween is long over. And for the cherry on top, this random whim was way too expensive. I kind of just wanted it for loungewear. Like, when I get home from class, I'll take off my jeans and put this on. That sounds so bad. Who am I? I should probably watch the movie now, though, huh?
In the mid-19th century, people decided that it was really fun and hilarious to make up longwinded, silly words that vaguely resembled Latin but actually just meant nothing. Believe it or not, a lot of the words have survived, including "discombobulated" and "rambunctious." I wish "absquatulate" was one of those lucky few.
I'm fascinated with the idea of the Irish Goodbye. If you've not heard of it, it's when someone leaves a party/event/gathering/etc. without saying goodbye to anybody. I love this. I do this. I enjoy doing this. It brings me joy.
Basically, to absquatulate is to perform the Irish Goodbye. The fact that it was once just a silly grouping of sounds that made some people in the 1830s laugh and is now a word found in the dictionary but not actually used by anybody seems very Irish Goodbye-ish to me. Like it left the party, no one even realized it was at the party, but then someone puts a photo of it on Facebook the next week and everyone's like, "Who's she?"
Last Tuesday, I heard a certain Beyoncé song for the first time. (Yes, that last Tuesday- i.e. Apocalypse Election Day 2016, and, yes, I also can’t believe that there’s a Beyoncé song that I haven’t heard yet.)
Apparently it’s a popular one. The chorus is quite repetitive and easy to memorize: “A diva is the female version of a hustler.” If you’ve heard it, just reading that sentence will probably get it stuck in your head for the rest of the day. I refuse to apologize for that.
I have a feeling last Tuesday will become one of Those Days. “Those Days” being: I remember what I was wearing, where I was, and the stupid drama I was thinking about (other examples of Those Days, at least for me, include 9/11 and when Michael Jackson died).
Last Tuesday, I was wearing a yellow skirt covered in a pattern of little black umbrellas. I was outside of my school’s dining hall. I was thinking about stupid drama.
Across from the door of the dining hall, a club had set up a table to encourage students to go vote. They were offering free pizza for voters, and playing loud, fun, pop music. At this hour of the day, it was already getting dark, as it is wont to do this late in the season. After assuring some enthusiastic tablers that yes, I did vote, and no, I did not want any pizza, that certain Beyoncé song came on. My entire walk home I could hear it. It was freaking empowering.
Let me set the scene. I had managed to go to class that day, which has been a bit of a challenge lately due to the mono thing. My hair was in a high ponytail, which always feels really powerful for some reason (probably because it sways and bounces like a goddamn pendulum when I walk and makes me feel like a goddamn haute couture model). For the first time in weeks, I was on top of my shit. I felt like a diva.
Of course, when I woke up the next morning to the horrific results of the election, I was kicked down a few notches. But more on that later.
After the initial high had dissipated, I got to thinking about what a diva actually is. Despite feeling like one, I honestly had/have no idea. We all know Beyonce’s definition, as she repeats it several times in the course of a three-minute track. A quick Google search gave me a wealth of options: A diva is a famous female opera singer, a famous female singer of popular music, or a woman regarded as temperamental or haughty.
I definitely relate to one of these definitions. It’s like that game, two lies and a truth—or is it two truths and a lie? (Here’s a hint: as much as I love karaoke, my singing voice is nothing to write to Simon Cowell about. Is this an outdated reference? I kind of miss American Idol though.)
Note: You know how there’s usually an example of the word used in a sentence alongside dictionary definitions? The sentence corresponding to the temperamental/haughty diva is “she’s such a diva that she won’t enter a restaurant until they change the pictures on the walls to her liking.” Is it just me or does that seem like a really low-effort example? Like, come on. You could’ve had fun with this one.
Urban Dictionary’s definitions (and example sentences for that matter) are significantly more interesting, though they range from really negative to, well, really positive. I’m not interested in a word used to describe powerful women having sexist undertones, though, so honestly I’m just ignoring most of them. Appropriately, my sentiment in the last sentence is very diva-ish (according to my research, anyway).
Basically, a diva knows what she wants, isn’t afraid to go for it, doesn’t sweat the haters, and manages to do all of the above with grace and class.
So pretty much exactly who I want to be, but have a really hard time being.
I know what I want (sometimes). I’m not afraid to go for it (usually). But, man, I sweat the haters. I do. And as much as I try to have grace and class in all situations, I’m only human.
Beyoncé really doesn’t seem like she sweats the haters. And if she did, it would be in a sauna with a ton of nice-smelling oils and shit. How does she do it? How do I live the Beyoncé lifestyle with less money, less social media followers, less carefree coolness?
That’s probably the problem, right there. I don’t need any of those things (I mean, I do need enough money to survive, but not Chanel wardrobe money). I’m so worried about what I don’t have, so fixated on how I could be different, that I’m not playing on my strengths.
Sure, some days, it feels like my only strength is the ability to breathe involuntarily. But those days are few and far between, and usually I’m being oversensitive, or overreacting, or overthinking, or all three at once.
In times like these, can anyone really afford the selfishness and narcissism that comes with doing you, for you, all day long? There’s so much to do, to read, to write. There are so many people who need the attention of those who have enough time/resources to worry about these things (i.e. me).
But at the same time, is it really that selfish or narcissistic to go for your dreams and ignore the critics? The jury is still out on that one. Until then, I’ll just keep trying. Trying what, I don’t know; it changes day-to-day, and sometimes I can’t pinpoint what I need to do or how to do it.
But as long as I just keep on, acknowledging the little haters in my head and in my life while letting them roll off my back, doing what I can for my fellow humans, cutting myself and the people around me a little slack, and letting my ponytail swing to powerful divas singing about being a powerful diva, I feel like, at least for now, I’m not doing nothing.
I’ve gone viral.
By that I mean I’ve contracted the Epstein-Barr virus, which causes the infection mononucleosis, referred to by playground bullies as “the kissing disease.” (Doctors also call it this but doesn't it just sound like something Billy Shea middle school bully would say?) In French – le mononucléose. About three weeks ago, I was told that I have acute mononucleosis, which just means that it was a recent onset. It also means that I’m particularly adorable when I’m sick.
That joke is really obvious, trite, and overdone, but whatever, I have mono.
So, yes, I’ve been playing the mono card like crazy recently. On one hand, I actually need to play it. The fatigue is unbelievable. The quality and frequency of the symptoms is bizarre and seemingly random. During the worst couple of days, not even my phone alarm, which is set to Ridiculous because I’m bad at waking up at my healthiest, could get me to open my eyes. I couldn’t think; it was like all language was a thousand pound bar I was incapable of deadlifting. And I can't even deadlift fifteen pounds (probably). I don't even know if I'm using the correct deadlifting terminology. All food tasted like dirt, when I had the energy to get up and feed myself. I couldn’t even eat mashed potatoes. I love mashed potatoes, and I just pushed them around on my plate till I felt nauseous enough to constitute going back to bed.
On the other hand, I hate having to play the mono card. I hate giving excuses for missing responsibilities, falling behind, going home early. It doesn’t even matter that it’s a perfectly valid excuse, or that my professors have been understanding and sympathetic, or that all of my good friends know and don’t mind that I’m not around as much as I want to be.
I’ve gotten better since then. I don’t need to rest as often. Going to class isn’t an unachievable goal. I have an overwhelming amount of work to catch up on, and it’s utterly freaking me out. I still can’t do a lot of things. I feel stuck.
It doesn’t help that my car keeps breaking down. I just want to drive to the grocery store and buy a couple of pints of ice cream and some Tollhouse cookie dough. But instead I’m here, in my bed, which is very comfortable, but a little too familiar lately.
It’s different, being sick when you’re a young adult. Your classmates don’t make a “Get Well” card. Your parents aren’t there, in the room next to yours, when you can’t sleep. The support system you’ve tried to build up is too busy with their own snags and complications to worry about why you’re sleeping so much.
I’ve watched too much Netflix these past three weeks.
I don’t feel well.
Is it called “going viral” when you/a video/some Twitter account becomes really popular really quickly because having a viral disease actually makes you infectious? It’s interesting, because both are contagions with different results. In the former, people flock to you. In the latter, everyone runs in the opposite direction.
My mono is not the worst thing happening in the world right now. It is not even in the top million worst things. That is an objective truth. But it certainly makes the top million worst things that much more overwhelming, though.
Happy hanging in there.