A Mansplaination: How to connect with women (**GUEST CONTRIBUTOR!**)

I’m sure after reading #galloswag’s riveting post advising women how to befriend men in a strictly platonic manner, you thought to yourself, “My bros are great, but I might want to enjoy a Smoothie Sunday with a lady BFF* every once in a while to discuss my life via a medium other than memes, how do I remedy this??”

mainsplanation
— #galloswag editorial note —

This was written by two brothers who I have been friends with before smoothies were even a twinkle in your blender’s eye. If they were able to snag your very own Galloswag as a female BFF, you *know* these guys are LEGIT

*********************

Men, everywhere here and yonder, I’m sure after reading #galloswag’s riveting post advising women how to befriend men in a strictly platonic manner, you thought to yourself, “My bros are great, but I might want to enjoy a Smoothie Sunday with a lady BFF* every once in a while to discuss my life via a medium other than memes, how do I remedy this??”

Memes beware! Behold my friends, there is a solution! Make a female friend. It’s that simple.
Disclosure Notice: After discussing this subject with my close confidant and business partner (#iambrookscassidy) we have devised a plan to make your Smoothie Sundays the real deal. However, these tried and true methods of landing potential lady friends are guaranteed to become so popular they’ll lose originality over time. Please note it is up to each bro to implement these methods with a certain personal flair or style that creates a unique experience. Otherwise, the woman you’re trying to befriend will realize these techniques are overused and outdated, and possibly end your friendship before it starts.
1) Self-improvement classes (pottery, soap making, gardening): Let’s be honest bro, the highest value you’ve ever put on pottery is whether or not it will explode like a watermelon when dropped off a seven story parking garage. Although not wrong, you may want to consider a different direction to take with such classy pieces of art. Create something. Women flock to pottery classes like Jordan Belfort* flocks to securities fraud. Join a pottery class and create a pot. While creating that pot, look around for potential female BFFs. Ask the potential BFF whether you should use the newly created pot as a cereal bowl or a planter for a bamboo tree you plan to buy at an upcoming arts and crafts show this weekend. This is a tried and true way to break the ice and find a new BFF that is not only creative, but obviously has enough free time to hit up Jamba Juice with you.
2) Daily streak on Snapchat. Girls love Snapchat: Anytime and I do mean ANYTIME you see something remotely funny or somewhat Snapworthy, send it to the future lady BFF you met in pottery class. Snapworthy chats are not that hard to come by. What is a hilarious Snap you ask? For starters, record yourself belting out the lyrics to a trendy pop song while strolling through the local grocery store. The innocent bystanders shopping with you will understand your goals are to start a new friendship, not to send Justin Bieber back to Canada with waves of jealousy over your strong vocal talents. I guarantee this trick will kick off any friendship in a positive light.
3) Pick up a cause (Remember Cecil the Lion!): Lastly, you need something to talk about with your newly found BFF. Women love causes. Whether it’s Cecil the Lion, Harambe, or some other poor creature who was sacrificed in  the preparation for your Smoothie Sunday, read up! Wikipedia is a great if somewhat unreliable place to learn about recent causes and trends. Don’t quote anything word for word, but have a conversation kick-starter in your back pocket just in case the discussion with your BFF about your new workout routine results in nothing more than an awkward silence. Cecil and Harambe want you to make new friends outside of the Call of Duty multiplayer campaign you’ve been vigorously attending to for weeks. Forever honor their names with your pottery, Snapchats and smoothies. Be well-informed, bros, and spice your life up with a female BFF.
*BFF – Best Friends Forever (Female way of identifying her homies.)
**Jordan Belfort is the lead character in ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ played by Leonardo Dicaprio.
 -The Kahlua Bros 

Dismounting the activism high horse

It’s like we’re all running for office and have to put out a press-release documenting our official response to all trending topics. Why?? Are you actually in a position of power to change those situations? Do you actually have anything new to add to the conversation, and/or can you actually say something more clearly and eloquently that someone who actually is an expert has not already said?

The world sucks right now, y’all. ISIS is displacing millions of people, race relations in the U.S. seem to be regressing instead of progressing, the next U.S. president will either be an unhinged maniac or a calculating murderess, there are millions of people still trapped in slavery, U.S. veterans are not receiving adequate social, psychological, and economical support when they return from overseas, Blake Shelton’s and Gwen Stefani’s duet is being treated like legitimate music..

What to do? In the past I would feel compelled to read and post as many articles on facebook as I could to raise awareness, give as much money as I could spare to causes that fight against these atrocities.. if necessary, I would even duke it out with a complete stranger on my friend’s posts comment section just to make sure those creepily curious but silent Facebook readers were getting my side of the story. But more recently my online presence has consisted of Seinfeld-esque rambles, intermixed with Instagram shares so people don’t forget how adorbs and amazing I am.

What has happened to ol’ Galloswag? Well, to borrow from Hillary Clinton, I’ve ‘evolved’ recently in how I think about my personal involvement in these really huge, disturbing, meta-issues that are plaguing the world. A few points I’ve realized –

  • Never in any point in history have we had access to so much information. Although it’s great to have the ability to google ‘Sri Lanka government’ and get about 893,000 results in 0.51 seconds, the constant barrage of info is completely overwhelming. Instead of making me a more empathetic, conscious world citizen, it’s numbing me. I simply cannot get worked up about each and every issue. This says nothing about their worthiness of attention, but my own physical and emotional limitations. I would have a mental breakdown if I did.
  • As a PhD student, I recognize that there are experts in everything now… and almost all true answers are “Maybe/probably, but it’s complicated.” Almost all public knowledge is so dumbed down and distorted by various media sources that it’s almost impossible to know the real truth of the matter – especially when it’s a politically contentious issue. Basically, the “truth” comes down to which news source you like and what sort of assumptions you’re bringing into every issue. Now to borrow from Jeb Bush – although I’m not an expert in world or political affairs, “I know what I don’t know.” I’m not descending into moral relativism – I do believe in absolute truth. But I also believe absolutely that I don’t have the time, resources, and intelligence to diligently research and understand the truth of every issue.
  • There might not be any worse place to talk about important issues than on social media. No one logs into Facebook so that their world view can be radically altered. Readers are much more likely to misunderstand the content and tone of posts and tweets, and are more likely to respond with hostility instead of understanding. It’s not shocking that whenever I say “if you want to talk about this more, please private message me,” that no one follows up on that offer. It seems that practically no one wants to have a reasonable conversation. They want to share their thoughts and defend their stance publicly, not learn or be challenged.
  • I can’t speak for everyone, but be honest – are we REALLY ‘grieved’, ‘outraged’, ‘deeply saddened’, etc.  about *every* school shooting, racial riot, tsunami, government overthrow , genocide, terrorist attack — or do we just want to make sure everyone knows that we’re socially conscious people and keyed into relevant issues? It’s like we’re all running for office and have to put out a press-release documenting our official response to all trending topics. Why?? Are you actually in a position of power to change those situations? Do you actually have anything new to add to the conversation, and/or can you actually say something more clearly and eloquently that someone who actually is an expert has not already said?
  • “But Galloswag!”, you protest, “we could always give money toward different causes, right?” Sure.. except do you really have the time to research the integrity and effectiveness of all the organizations you support? I used to think, “I’d rather give money and it be used unwisely than not give money to a worthy cause.” But sometimes throwing money blindly at problems really can cause harm (see Robert Lupton’s Toxic Charity). And not to get all Marxist on y’all, but there are limited resources in the world, which means pouring resources into an ineffective or corrupt organization really is a sort of evil, because you’re stealing from the people, causes, organizations that actually are legit.

Here’s where I’ll pivot somewhat from the bleak and cynical. I’m starting to think that mayyyybbeee we’re given specific skills… put in specific times and places… around specific people… for a reason. Maybe I should focus on helping my lab-mate move to a new apartment, doing good science that actually makes a contribution (however small) to finding a cure for a devastating disease, and supporting local businesses, artists, etc. It’s not that I want to bury my head in the sand and pretend the big scary world doesn’t exist. It’s that I can’t stretch my poor little emotions so thin that I become a self-righteous maniac or a detached psychopath who responds to all evils with a moving fb status update or a disturbingly glib reaction meme, respectively. I’m beginning to think the best way to bring shalom* to my world is a be a good sister, help out in my own community, and save my money, time, and emotional energy for one or two causes/issues that 1) are particularly important to me and 2) are being combated by trustworthy organizations that I’ve taken the time to research.

This is a departure from my usual tongue-in-cheek, bossy-pants posts because I truly don’t know if this is good or right.. but this is where I’m at right now. So I welcome your thoughts. But of course, you can also just silently judge me and I will continue merrily on.

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*Shalom is one of my favorite concepts of all time. It’s a Jewish word that is sort of a synonym for peace, although it’s not just referring to the absence of conflict but the flourishing of a community. ❤

Punch those glums in the jugular

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Let’s be real- the glums (e.g. “bleh.”) or angsties (e.g. “eek!”) can come upon us all.* You’re sitting home alone, eating your third bowl of sprouted corn flakes for that day, and suddenly the absurd nothingness of your life sets in. Do you allow your mind to take that turn down Despair Drive? Or do you grab the wheel and screech triumphantly into Laughter Lane?!

If Laughter Lane is your destination of choice, here are some tried and true (by yours truly, at least) methods for punching those glums in the jugular.

1) Purposely befriend and hang with people who think your problems are lamé

It seems counter-intuitive, but it’s refreshing to be with people who don’t care (beyond how it makes you feel) if all the rats in your experiment die, or your hairline is receding, or your boyfriend’s sister said you dress like a skank. Friends like this help me reorient and realize that many of my issues are pretty isolated and low-impact in the grand scheme of things. #perspective

2) Move dat bodaay!

You’ve probably read somewhere that running and yoga help reduce stress. But while I do both so I can be a Fast and Flexible Fran, I can still mull over my problems and bad feels as I do them. Instead, weight training dispels the glums the best for me.  I can’t think about anything else when I’m training except my form and breathing. That narrow focus is a peaceful Japanese garden compared to my usual wild bramble of thoughts. Plus, weight training gives you the benefit of ‘mirin’ yourself in the mirror afterwards, which has been clinically proven to chase the glums away.

3) Look at perty stuff

Maybe this is more specific to me, but my work ain’t pretty. I dare you to google ‘transcardial rat perfusion’. Now imagine picking up a rat turd with a paper towel. That’s not all I do, PTL, but both of those are a part of my life. After prolonged exposure to this sort of ugliness, my soul begins to shrivel like a humiliated grape. It’s restorative to go look at beautiful houses around the well-to-do neighborhoods in my area, or even wander around some fru-fru store like Pier 1 Imports and let all my senses be assaulted with glitter, bergamot and lavender candles, and plush pillows. Ahh. If you are the manliest of mans and would feel emasculated doing either of those, go to a gun store and admire the beautiful machinery of the newest Kimber or something. Gah!

4) Be unimpressive 

When I was in undergrad, I became obsessed with “holistic excellence.” Consequently, even my so called “down time” was somehow impressive or admirable, like reading Aristotle or running to break a personal record. Now, I give myself the indulgence of lounging in my pj’s and watching You’ve Got Mail for the 3,547th time. And I don’t feel guilty about it. For you who are already experts at being unimpressive, this point may seem cray. But, if you err on the side of perfectionism, just stop. striving. for a little while.

5) Get artsy-fartsy, but hold the fartsy.  

If you’re already an artist of some sort, then you do you. But if you are like me with practically no artistic ability, here are some ideers- make up a new recipe off the top of your head, color in one of those super elaborate coloring books for adults, write a short fictional story, spray-paint a random object, play with Legos.. whatever. Usually I have this glorious creation in mind, but the end product is so absurdly ugly that it makes me laugh uproariously. So either way.. glums be gone.

6) Love-text 

Similar to drunk texting, except you’re drunk on LOVE and you selectively target your fam and your closest friends, not your exes. I like to text, one by one, everyone I love with “I LOVE YOUUUUU” or *kissy face kissy face kissy face*, or ‘ ❤ ❤ ❤ ‘ .. etc. If that’s a little over the top for your personality, then you can opt for something like “You’re not all bad” or something similarly stoic.  Not only does it give you warm fuzzies, it gives your loved ones warm fuzzies, which make your own fuzzies that much fuzzier. Eh, what? Okay, moving on..

Bonus: In a pinch, watch the YouTube clip of Will Ferrell and Christina Aguilera performing the Tight Pants Song on The Tonight Show. Glum cannot withstand its power.

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

* By glums, I mean a temporary, purely emotional (sometimes hormonal) downshift in mood. These tips aren’t meant to cure long term probs that have psychological &/or spiritual roots. If your problems aren’t temporary and they go deeper than feeling slightly ‘blue’, please make steps to talk to a counselor. For realz.

 

A Womansplaination: How to connect with men

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I hope you didn’t click on this link for advice on how to romantically connect with men, because that would be as embarrassing for me as it would be for you. Please seek immediate help elsewhere.

No, this is for those women in brown leather boots and a beige cardigan, journaling at the local café, wondering – “I have no guy friends. How do I make them?”

Never fear, Galloswag is here to share her decades of expertise on how to be legit friends with men. Get out that pink-glitter gel pen and get in formation, cuz I have a lot of womansplainin’ to do here… and I do NOT repeat myself.

1) Break the ice with a clever, fitting quote from a “bro” movie

What’s a bro movie, you ask? Anything with Will Ferrell, The Hangover, Ted.. you know, all those movies you let your ex-bf watch with his bros and didn’t even resent being excluded. Hold your nose and rent a few. Step 1. Watch them. Step 2. Watch them all again. Step 3. Repeat steps 1-2. Memorize every word. Marinate in them.

Then bide your time, like a patient panda. Wait casually for a mundane conversation with a male you’ve targeted for future friendship. With every sentence of dialogue, rack your Ferrell-saturated brain for any possible connection. When you find a hit, *KAPOW* lay it on them.

I can tell you’re not getting it. Example-

Future bro: How was your weekend?

You: Good! My best friend got married. It was such a gorgeous wedding.

Future bro: Oh, yeah? ..cool.. *entire body sags in boredom*

You: Yeah we’ve known each other forevs, so the whole time I was like *scrunch your face* “I’m in a glass cage of emotion!”

Current bro: *body flooded with energy, begins to recite Anchorman from beginning to end between joyful chuckles*

Trust me ladies, this always works. Your only potential pitfall would be to memorize a few quotes, but be unable to hold your own during the recitation of the entire movie. Men can identify a fraud, and they will not be fooled by your half-bootied performance. Don’t shirk! Make the commitment and it will pay off.

2) Convert at LEAST 80% of your formerly verbal, text-y communication to memes and gifs

If you like to express yourself through eye contact and a lot of words, you need to take that preference and blend it to smithereens just like the kale-acai-almond butter smoothie you had for breakfast this morning. Nothing wins over brotherly love like a good reaction meme in a text or fb convo.

Whenever you’re writing a response to a future bro, ask yourself: how could I capture all of this in a single meme?  If your idea is more complex than that, you may proceed to a gif. If a gif is inadequate, you can be sure the guy probably won’t want to read it. At this point, your best options are to a.  abandon train of thought, or b. FaceTime your female bestie instead.

3) Talk some trash

[Important: not to be confused with talking dirty…unless friending is not your goal, and then I suggest you consult other sources as mentioned above].

Sometimes, being ru-ru really is the way to go. I’ve never seen men beam at me with quite the same warmth and affection as when I drop in a good old fashioned, nonsensical mom joke.

Although beware: this is a subtle art form. Despite their bluster, men can be little delicata squashes when it comes to certain insecurities. I would never, for example, mock the facial hair of a man with real undergrowth issues. I’d keep it in the territory of nick-naming one of my super buff friends Johhny Bravo. You’re going for messin’, not mentally distressin’.

[Also important: don’t bring the kitchen if you can’t take the heat. Like iron sharpens iron, guys have been training in the Dojo of Bro Jokes since they were mere babes. Expect some return messin’. If it gets too intense, cry it out in the bathroom, roll up your sleeves and adjust your bra, and then get back in there.]

I have already given you three solid ways to connect with men on the bro level. For $39.95/hr, I will personally infiltrate your work and social settings to shadow you and give you instantaneous feedback. But WAIT: If one of your friends is good looking and wants to take me out for a kale-acai-almond butter smoothie, I will even slash that fee in half.

Go out and befriend!

 

INSIDER’S ONLY: the wild and wonderful #gallogrub

It is well known amongst my friends and fam that my eating habits are kinda.. quirky. Thousands of people* have asked me “What exactly do you eat during the day?” I think they suspect I go to some top-secret farmer’s market, buy some magic beans, and cackle all night as I stir a pot of stew. Very very close, but not quite. I just try to hit the Eternal Quatro of Grub Delight – healthy, fast, cheap, and tasty. Although really by ‘tasty’, sometimes I just mean ‘edible’.

So you are all in for a rare treat my friends – #galloblog is giving you an insider’s look at what your ol’ Galloswag noshes on all day. Get your pinterests READY!

Breakfast

This is Publix nonfat greek yogurt and chia seeds. They’re not just for pets anymore, folks, they’re for eating. And from what I understand, every chia seed you eat flattens your stomach by 1mm. I also added a devilish dollop of all natural** peanut butter, because life is meant to be enjoyed.

Don’t forget green tea! Two different kinds, because YOLO.

Breakfast 2

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Wellll I was still hungry. So I whipped up a smooth and creamy bowl of oatus de branus, more commonly known as oat bran. On the top is a scoop of plain ol’ cocoa powder. Because milk, sugar, and fat in chocolate is for THE WEAK.

Pre-work snack

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Every morn I add a scoop of this green superfood nonsense to my water. I like to imagine an epic battle going on in my body where these valiant green warriors fight off all my evil oxidants. Because I don’t want ANY oxidants left in my body. Not. One. Damn. Oxidant.

Post-arrive-at-work snack

To reward myself for making the grueling o.6 mile walk into my lab, I always roll up a sweet potato like a sweet little baby, nuke that sucker, and eat it plain, skin and all. Yes, like a frickin’ hot dog.

.. & some white tea, because I’m still tired, and quitting coffee was hard.

Pre-lunch hunger stave off

If I had zero self-control, I would eat my lunch every day by.. 10:15 a.m. So I drink a big ol’ water bottle with a splash of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Does it help with hunger? Definitely. Does it cure the common cold, cleanse your arteries, and give you the gift of telepathy? I don’t know. I ain’t no scientist.***

Cinnamon gum is also great to chew on to distract my whiney stomach. I buy this super expensive crappy kind that lasts for 15 seconds because it’s xylitol only. And regular gum stays in your stomach and grows into aliens.

Lunch

I had the delight of running home for lunch and constructing the most mouth watering omelette/frittata. It’s 2 eggs, half a bag of frozen spinach (pre-thawed in microwave), and a sprinkle of turmeric, black pepper****, and red crushed pepper. Stirred it all up and threw it in a pan coated with avocado oil.***** Then I finished it with an adorbs plop of hummus.

Post-lunch Snack

Sprouted corn flakes and cashew milk! Because it is like a crunchy festival in your mouth! And it was a ‘Woohoo!’ deal at Kroger! I literally woohoo’d when I saw it.

Dinner

I got very distracted and had no time to keep on taking pics like some psycho woman. Will anyone ever know what a #gallodinner looks like…. ?!?!?!

TO BE CONTINUED…

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*Ones of people

**PLEASE never eat peanut butter that’s not natural. It’s basically peanut flavored shortening. Hydrogenated oils are always, always, a no.

*** #gallolies

**** THIS is actually serious – turmeric and black pepper are supposed to be super anti-inflammatory

***** Apparently avacodo oil is (one of??) the only kind(s??) of oils that doesn’t turn into a carcinogen when heated up for pan-cooking. Use your EVOO for cold salad and antipasto, not cooking. Sowwy.

The only reason I haven’t roundhoused my trainer in the face

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Imagine this scenario: A man is staring intently at a woman’s body. After a few seconds, he tells her, “Hey, squeeze your butt.” Should the woman –

  1. Ignore him
  2. Call the po-po
  3. Give him a roundhouse to the face
  4. Nod appreciatively and squeeze her butt

If you’re a fiery woman like myself (#gallofire), you probably immediately chose option c – roundhouse to the face. Especially if it’s the sort of situation where the woman was at work and the man was some leering co-worker. I might choose option b if the woman was walking to her car at night and the man reeked of alcohol or some illicit substance. Option a would probably be best if the woman is walking down the street, and the man is yelling out of his car window. Option d is clearly NEVER the appropriate response.. or is it??

Imagine now a very different environment from all the ones I mentioned above. The man and woman are at a gym, they know each other, and the woman is paying the man to train her to be a magnificent beast of lean, mean muscle. Part of his job involves watching her closely as she performs different exercises, and telling her when she really needs to rev up her glute activation to perform various exercises. Now, in this very different context, not only should she not be offended, fearful, or activate her ninja mode, she should be grateful that he is performing his job correctly.

So look over options a-d again. They are all very different actions, all appropriate at one time or another, to the exact same event. The main factor that determines the appropriateness of each action is the context of the situation.

What helps us use context flexibly, at the millisecond timescale, to figure out the most appropriate action?

hippocampus

Enter one of the most magnificent brain structures of all time, the hippocampus! You actually have two, each one close to your ears, a few millimeters deep in the brain. The hippocampus doesn’t just ‘do’* one thing – it is most known for its role in memory – but one function it is undisputedly crucial for is taking in info about single ‘items’ (the man) or events (the man telling the woman to squeeze her butt), and incorporating them into the context (the workplace, parking lot at night, street, gym). These item-context associations are super important to send along to other brain regions to use to select the appropriate action (roundhouse, call po-po, ignore, nod ‘n squeeze).

You should also appreciate that the brain does this automatically and instantly. When my trainer tells me to squeeze my glutes, I don’t have to pause for 30 seconds, ponder through all the possible range of responses, mindfully take in my context, and then select an action. Instead, I choose option d – nod appreciatively and squeeze my glutes. I’ve never come close to giving him a roundhouse to the face. Amazing.

The real, every-day importance of the hippocampus is especially visible when the hippocampus stops functioning properly, as in Alzheimer’s disease**.  Once the disease progresses so far, people with Alzheimer’s disease are no longer able to respond to individual items and events in a context appropriate way. That may be one reason why they make inappropro innuendo with the voluptuous waitress, or offend the ears of their innocent grand-chillin’ with a string of foul language. Their hippocampi are becoming dysfunctional, and are less able to help them take in the item/event with the context so they can act appropriately.

So don’t take your hippocampus for granted – protect it by eating less brownies, and exercise like a beast. You don’t want to be that person who attacks their trainer for just doing their job. How embarrassing.

Oh hippocampus, thank you for all that you do. ❤

TAKE NOTE: If anyone says anything about squeezing my butt outside of the trainer-at-the-gym context, you WILL get a roundhouse to the face!!!

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*Practically no brain structure ‘does’ one thing, or does it by itself. If you cut out the hippocampus and set it on the table, it wouldn’t ‘remember’ anything. It’s crucially interconnected with a network of other brain regions that it receives info from and sends info to.

**Alzheimer’s disease affects many brain regions, and other brain regions are also involved in appropriate behavior (e.g. prefrontal cortex). But, the hippocampus is one of the first and most severely affected in Alzheimer’s disease, fo’ sho’, and it engages in intimate pillow talks with the other brain regions involved in appropriate behavior as well.

— I AIN’T MAKIN STUFF UP  —

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4179699/

Harry was wrong, and here’s why.

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In one of my favorite rom-coms of all time, When Harry Met Sally, Harry and Sally argue about whether or not men and women can be friends. Harry of course says no, although later he adds a stipulation that they can if one or both are involved in a serious relationship with someone else. Although I love the movie, I hate this answer. Thus, I offer you my own, better answer. (YOU ARE WRONG, HARRY!)

So, can single men and women be friends? I argue YES, but with several limitations.

  • Some women can never be friends with any men
    • This is the flirty, needy type who doesn’t see men as individuals, but as soulless tools of validation. They can’t go to a ball game, go on a hike, or watch a movie and be chill. They have to make sure that the focus is always on them and how adorable they are.
    • How to spot: Refusal to participate in activities that do not highlight their cuteness; confusingly wild laughter at their own ditzy behavior
  • Some men can never be friends with any women
    • This is the guy who constantly infuses romantic advances into every interaction. They can usually trick us women for a while by seeming like that sweet friend who just wants to be a shoulder to cry on, but if you give them an inch they will take a mile. They’re basically loitering around in the pretense of friendship, hoping that the woman will someday rise from her slumber and be filled with overwhelming love and affection for him.
    • How to spot: An overuse of emojis in text messages; awkwardly long hugs; usage of pet names
  • Some men and women can never be friends with each other
    • These are the people who really can generally be friends with the opposite sex, but when it comes to this one particular person, their friend skills wash away in an ocean of attraction. I see this a lot with people who date and then try to be friends afterward. I think it’s just more difficult after you’ve romanticized with someone to spend time and talk with them and not “go there” again. You’ll be laughing over some past experience with an angry waiter or something and then remember, ‘oh yeah, that was the same night we went on a romantic moonlit walk and he told me I was the most beautiful girl he had ever met’. It’s difficult to remember that, rally with a quick Anchorman quote, and proceed casually.
    • How to spot: If you’re ‘just friends’ with someone but would feel a little burned if they started dating someone; if you get irrationally angry with that person for relatively mild disagreements (don’t forget: indifference, not hate, is the opposite of love!)

BUT if you don’t fall into any of these categories, and neither does your friend of interest, REJOICE! My guy friends bring such amazing joy and rich perspective to my life. I hope that we can all stop over-sexualizing everything and just enjoy members of the opposite sex as the unique, beautiful unicorns of individuals that they are. ❤

 

White people, please stop making babies.

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Sunburned woman at beach

No, I didn’t stutter. White-white child production needs to end.

This sentiment has no political, religious, or racist motivation. No – this is a sincere, heartfelt plea from yours truly, who is in fact the product of one of these white-white baby-making ventures.

On a recent trip to Florida, I went to the beach per usual. On said beach, I laid under the sun brazenly, like a normal human being. But I do not have the skin of a normal human being. I have the tortured, angsty skin that can only arise from generations upon generations of European love-making. If my skin was a musical genre, it would be 90s goth – super pale, forever stuck in pubescence, and tremendously angry at the world – particularly bright happy sunlight. Thus, it screeched with indignant rage that I dare enjoy my vacation like 100% of Americans like to enjoy their beach vacations – soaking in the sun with some of my favorites. My skin attacked me with every tool in its belt – it stung, itched, chafed, and peeled. If I exposed my skin to temperatures even one degree hotter than its ideal, it literally* caught on fire; one degree cooler and it literally sent my entire body into hypothermic shock. I have never taken so much naproxen and Benadryl just to keep from bursting into tears or running wildly around my vacay house in a crazed effort to distract myself. It was the second** most traumatic experience of my life.

That is why I stand before you now, with tears of sincerity glistening in my beautiful blue eyes: Please save the next generation of humans from this sunburn madness.

This has nothing to do with mixed-race children being beautiful (um, hello Shemar Moore). This is not an appeal rooted in white-hatred. Indeed, it is my tender love for the descendants of current white people that I beg you to give them a better life.  Neither is it somehow an appeal rooted in white-supremacy. Indeed, I hope that there are no 100% white people remaining by 2100.

Please, men and women du blanc – stop strengthening this debilitating genetic mutation that makes white people unfit for venturing outside for a full 60% of the year (at least in the south). Don’t be selfish. Lean in, and make a less sunburned world. A less painful world. A better world.

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*By literally, I mean figuratively.. of course.

**#1:  being a true conservative in 2016.

THE FEATURED PICTURE IS NOT ME! I would never wear such an ugly bikini.

An analogy, if you will.

tired-runner

I’m running a marathon. Why? Well, many years ago I earned many accolades for a 5k that I ran, and I do love my accolades. So much so that I decided I should be an ultra-runner. I knew that to do an ultra-run I had to run a marathon first, and so I signed up with much rejoicing.

From mile 1 of this marathon, I started to panic. I wasn’t ready. I had barely trained, and I learned quickly that the strategies to run well in a 5k were not going to work well for a marathon. Even more unsettling, the other racers made it clear within the first mile that they had trained well and were in much better shape than I was. Somehow, I struggled through like a rubbery-legged fawn and made it through the first few miles. Around the halfway point, I even received a little confidence boost from realizing I was still more or less keeping pace with the other runners. Some runners had already dropped out, and I felt a little special that I had decided to stay in.

Miles 13-25 though, were a bit horrific. At several points, I stopped running completely. Once I even ran in the completely wrong direction, until my exasperated marathon trainer grasped me by the shoulders and set me back in the right direction.

Almost every marathon runner considers stopping at some point, but I have considered it multiple times within every mile. I tell you, it is psychological torture. What makes it worse is that some runners that began at the same time as me, or even one to two hours after me, have already joyously crossed the finish line. In the meantime, craggy seasoned runners keep on running up next to me and saying “You feel bad now? Just wait until you begin the ultra-run! This marathon will seem like a light jog to your mailbox!” Others have told me that no one cares how I run this marathon, as long as I cross the finish line. It’s how I run the ultra-run that matters. While I get their point, that’s hardly motivating for me while I’m still dragging myself through this marathon.

You may be thinking, “Poor thing, she probably has a crappy marathon trainer.” But that’s not true. My marathon trainer is amazing. Other runners envy me. He makes me feel guilty because the guy frickin’ loves to run so much, and he really wants me to share that joy. He never asks me to run faster, because he wants me to want to run faster – to experience the pure joy of running. He says he can’t imagine doing anything else besides running.

But I can see myself doing almost anything, including several things that don’t involve running at all. Running isn’t my passion anymore. I don’t know if it ever was. I’m starting to wonder if I just enjoyed winning trophies at the end of my 5k, but I’m not sure if I actually enjoyed the run. I always cringe a little bit when people automatically assume that, because I’m currently running a marathon, my all-consuming passion is running. They like to say stuff like, “But of course you’re an amazing runner! You’re in a marathon!” But that doesn’t really mean anything. You’d be surprised at how relatively easy it is to sign up for a marathon even if you’re not qualified. It really just comes down to who is willing to put themselves through that torture. So please – stop assuming that 1) I love running and 2) I’m good at running. It makes my bad mile-times that much worse. I’m not being modest – I’ve been running for a while and, trust me, I’m not someone for a newbie runner to model their training plan after.

Now I’m on the last mile. People are yelling “Sprint! You can do it!” but all I want to do is crawl to the side, curl up in a ball, and die. I’ve firmly decided I never want to even attempt an ultra-run. I’m happy for those that do, but it’s not for me. I like the general idea of people out there running, and I’m thankful for the fortitude this marathon has given me for whatever I attempt in the future. But, I don’t feel any compulsion whatsoever to be a part of any future runs. If my marathon is really all about the ultra-run anyway, why should I care about finishing this marathon at all? I don’t plan to use any fragment of cardio capacity that I gained through this marathon for anything else I take on. Is it for the trophy, then? I don’t even really want the trophy anymore, because so many other people with this trophy are actually runners who completed this marathon for the joy of running. They trained, they persevered, they deserve it, and they’re rightly an inspiration to others. If people see my trophy, they will assume that I’m one of them, but that’s not really fair. And when I insist otherwise, I’ll just seem demure.

Maybe I should forget about the ultra-run, forget about the trophy, forget about feeling guilty about having no joy in running, and just focus on reaching that next tree. When I get there, I will try to find some lovely rock in the distance to run towards. At this point, the finish line is less about accomplishment and more about looking forward to being done with running. So I WILL finish this damn race, if only for freedom from the race.

 

The Cray Aunt Theory

Be honest with yourself – we all* have an aunt that’s a little quirky. “My crazy aunt” just rolls of the tongue, yes? No further argument needed. But how did cray aunts become such a widespread phenomenon? Especially cray aunts like myself with few signs of starting their own little litter, our existence is indeed  a profound mystery that has troubled scientists** for centuries.
I’m assuming that because we cray aunts exist, there has to be some utility to our existence. Otherwise, we would have gone extinct long ago. According to the newly developed Cray Aunt Theory***, not to be confused with the Gay Uncle Theory,  cray aunts serve several important functions that can increase the likelihood of a fragment of our cray genes being propagated via our adorbs little nieces and nephews. Consider the following:
1) Cray aunts are very unlikely to have important  plans on weekend nights, and  therefore serve as excellent last minute baby-sitters for their sibs. Bo nus: because we are blood related and naturally adore our siblings’ little tikes, we are less likely to text bae while babe chokes on a lego.
2) Cray aunts can serve as potent motivation for their siblings children, girls especially, to not grow up cray. Their parents have a real life, familiar example to point to when their daughters are being ornery – “Aunt Claire didn’t wear sundresses either. You don’t want to end up like your cray Aunt Claire, do you?” *Point to a pic of cray aunt* *child gasps in horror* … And everyone knows sundresses are the key to mating success, at least for southern females.
3) Cray doesn’t preclude aunts from making moneyzzz. When I become a Cray Rich Aunt (CRA), I plan to take my nieces and nephews on fun adventures. Skiing, hiking, cow-tipping, and when my nieces are old enough, we will drive around in my classic ‘stang and holler out the window at young attractive men. Cat-calling with your cray aunt is guaranteed to increase the numbers of dates you will land, although I cannot comment on the quality. But either way, our genes will march on.
These are just the first three, but I’m hopeful this intro will instigate a tsunami of double blind, placebo controlled clinical trials to investigate this further, and truly really establish causality.****
— EDITORIAL NOTES —
* Besides me. All my aunts are exemplary aunts. If they are cray in any way, it’s crazy awesomeeeee
**Or a scientist (me). And by “centuries” I mean “several hours”
***Galloswag 2016, personal observations
****Because everyone knows you don’t know anything unless it was done with a DBPCCT