Guilt by Association
I get so flattered when people associate me with certain reality shows or fast foods, you know? It makes me feel like I’m really part of something bigger than myself…
“Last weekend I felt really lazy, so I stayed home and watched a ‘Dance Moms’ marathon and thought of you.”
“Wait — did someone just say that they feel uncomfortable around elephants?” (no) “Oh, because that just sounds like something Carrie would say.”
How to Get a Shellac Manicure
I probably should have known not to get something called a “shellac” manicure, considering my short attention span and love of exit strategies. BECAUSE I CANNOT GET THIS STUFF OFF.
Have you ever had one of these things??
No? Well good, I’m glad I caught you in time…
How to Get a Shellac Manicure
1. Never, ever get a shellac manicure
2. Ok, fine, buy that Groupon for a shellac manicure because it’s, like, 200% off
3. Marvel at how fancy this all seems! The special brushes! The UV drying lamp! Getting to pick your polish from a chart! A chart! And to think, not too long ago you were just a small-town kid from Iowa who dreamed of someday getting such an elaborate manicure in the big city!
4. Use phrases like “new technology,” and “totally superior” to describe your new look to friends. When they claim to have gotten a similar “gel” manicures a couple years ago, scoff. This is shellac.
5. Enjoy all of the many benefits of a shellac manicure for 2-3 weeks. Like: it’s so shiny! And, it won’t chip off the tips like most polishes. No matter how many times you have to dig around in your suitcase-sized purse for those stupid keys.
6. Call those same friends three weeks later, crying. You just want it off.
7. “Oh, you have to get it professionally removed?”
8. Delicately brush your nails with nail polish remover for 10 minutes. Or 30? Fine, 50.
10. Pour an entire bottle of that blue, acetone poison into a sturdy, plastic container. Oh, here, just use this “Blue Bunny Personals” ice cream container you never threw away.
11. Immerse your fingers into the liquid.
12. When the polish starts to bubble, carefully scrape away the chips with an orange stick
13. Is that nail you’re peeling??
14. ARE YOU KIDDING ME.
15. Make an appointment to get this damn stuff professionally removed.
Diet Coke Substitutes
It’s been exactly five weeks since I gave up Diet Coke, and I’ve learned all kinds of valuable lessons along the way.
For instance: did you know that not a damn person wants to take that 12 pack of Caffeine-Free Diet Coke that I have sitting in my kitchen off my hands? And, did you know that EVERY PLACE EVER now has fountain soda??? Even places that NEVER EVER had fountain soda when I could drink fountain soda, which I know because it’s my MOST FAVORITE THING??
But, I digress. The most important lesson I’ve learned in all of this, is that there are several suitable substitutes for Diet Coke if you look close enough. And, with that, I give you some of my own favorites…
Diet Coke Substitutes
2. (Just kidding! Alcohol!)
3. Tiny, busted packets of fruit-flavored powder
4. Seltzer, mixed with equal parts orange juice and bitterness
5. Judgment of those who drink Diet Coke
6. Contempt for those who drink Diet Coke in my presence
7. Aggression towards those who make me stop with them to “grab a quick Diet Coke”
8. Begging, pleading, bargaining
9. Ugh, fine. Water.
I consider myself somewhat of a self-taught expert in the art of being 80-years-old. In fact, by the time I’m actually 80-years-old, I think I’ll have this down to a science. That is, if I don’t die of bed bugs, airplane anxiety, or WebMD first.
In the event that you, too, would like to start refining your craft, I thought I’d share some of my own best practices…
This week alone I have:
- Discovered a wad of hard candy wrappers in my coat pocket
- Visited an arthritic specialist for some hand problems I’ve been having
- After passing a tweenager on the street, loudly remarked to a friend that I’d “never let my daughter leave the house in a skirt that short”
- Brought a Tupperware full of cupcakes, a box of Girl Scout cookies, and a pack of napkins into a movie theater
- Asked a friend if she wanted to have ‘supper’ together
- During an iPhone commercial, yelled, “Why on Earth do you need to watch videos on your phone?!”
- Started a happy hour conversation with, “Can we talk about health insurance premiums?”
- Received an AARP catalog, addressed to me, in the mail…
…it’s like they know.
How to Attend a Holiday Party
Holiday parties have been in full swing for a couple weeks now, so I thought it was time I shared a few useful lessons that I’ve learned, to help make party-going a bit smoother.
It’s taken me quite a while to develop what I consider to be “best practices.” But I think I’ve finally reached the point where I achieve each of these steps, in order, at every single holiday party I attend. Not only do I consider this a feat of incredible merit, it should also be reason enough to invite me to your next gathering…
How to Attend a Holiday Party
1. Do Not RSVP
You are much too busy watching TLC reality television and taking Advil PM every night to bother with things like “letting friends know you can make it” to their holiday party. It’s not like having a head-count is crucial for food/drink preparation or space considerations. No, you should let your presence be a surprise! When you ring the apartment buzzer, you really want to hear a mixture of confusion and disdain when the host greets you with an “Oh, I didn’t know you were coming. I guess. Umm. Come on up?”
2. Dress Inappropriately
The next step has taken me years to perfect, so really take your time with this one. Specifically, over-analyze all possible outfit options, decide you have nothing to wear, go to Target to buy something new, bring it home, realize it doesn’t fit because you didn’t try it on at the store, and then cry. Next, try to think about what this party’s dress code was last year, maybe that will help! You definitely remember it being more on the casual side, so throw on jeans, and congratulate yourself on locating within your closet a cute, seasonally appropriate top. When you arrive at the party to find what appears to be a scene out of the board-game ”Clue,” realize that you didn’t go to this party last year. Because, if you had, you’d probably remember the ball gowns. Ohmygod, is that guy wearing an ascot??
3. Attend “Solo” Because You Don’t Have a “Boyfriend”
See: every blog post I’ve ever written.
4. Anger the Neighbors
This one should be relatively easy — because, who are you kidding. You didn’t bother reading the entire ‘Evite’ to get the exact address, so of course you’re going to knock on the wrong door.
5. Arrive Empty-Handed
That long, Saturday evening nap you took was timed exactly right — you woke up 10 minutes after both the liquor store and Target had closed. So, go ahead and forget about bringing a host(ess) gift or the traditional bottle of wine. Instead, rummage through your cabinets for that canvass-wine-holder you bought for 99 cents at Trader Joe’s, fill it with 6 bottles of miscellaneous, ”Lite” beers, and meekly smile when everyone looks disparagingly at your contribution to the party. It also helps if, when the host points you in the direction of the kitchen for a bottle opener, you laugh and pull out that key-chain-bottle-opener you always carry, exclaiming, “no need — I brought my own!”
6. Talk to No One
Mutter to no one in particular: “how are there so many people here?!” Next, do a quick mental calculation of how many people would be at your hypothetical holiday party, were you to invite absolutely everyone you knew, and absolutely everyone showed up. When it adds up to roughly 1/10 of the people in this room, feel self-conscious. Then immediately proceed to Step #7.
7. Eat All the Cookies
Hey, no one was eating anything anyway! I mean, look at some of these people, they’re like, H&M-model-skinny. No, this food is meant for you, and you alone. So, fill up on an assortment of cookies, until the reinforced paper plate literally bends under the added weight. Don’t bother with a napkin — you want to be forced to use your shirt sleeve to wipe away the powdered sugar that is somehow all over everything, even though powdered sugar wasn’t an ingredient in anything you ate. When, at some point in the evening, someone makes a loud, passive aggressive comment about how all the cookies are gone, innocently join the rest of the guests as they survey the room looking for the ‘culprit.’
8. Leave Early
After completing steps 1-7, leave the party — ideally around 10pm, since you have a busy day of sleeping-in tomorrow. You want to be nice and rested for your Sunday-Thai-take-out-for-dinner plans! But, first, on your walk back to the bus stop, think about how much you enjoy this time of year. The dressing up, the meeting new people, the seasonal treats. Be silently confident in your ability to ‘kill it’ at every party you attend, and excitedly anticipate the many more invites you’ll no doubt receive this time next year.
Steps to Avoiding a Disaster
I spend a great deal of my waking hours thinking about all the disasters that could befall me, and then neurotically worrying about their consequences. I think we can all agree that this is time well spent.
But what good is neurosis if you can’t share it with friends? In that spirit, I present the first in a series of guides on how to avoid potential disasters. In this edition I have provided you with a few simple steps to avoiding one particularly scary disaster: fire by straightening-iron…
Your first, and arguably most crucial step in preventing a straightening-iron-related-disaster is to panic. Specifically, rack your brain trying to remember whether you turned the straightener off this morning. You must have. Isn’t today, like, the fourth time this week you’ve worried about this? And all four times, you panicked for nothing — of course you turned it off. But what if you didn’t? What if this time was different?? Ohmygod, you didn’t turn it off. You didn’t turn it off, and now a fire is about to destroy your entire apartment building.
Step 2: Alienate Those Around You
Step 3: Forget Crucial Details
Next, develop some sort of inexplicable, short-term memory loss. You definitely used your straightening iron this morning, that much is certain. However, your mind is a complete blank from the time you plugged it in until the alleged “turning off” of the device. Which is weird, because you remember, in great detail, everything else about this morning — including those hideous outfits that Hoda and Kathie Lee were wearing on the Today Show.
Step 4: Flee
Your only real option is to immediately run outside, hail a taxi, and rush home. No matter where you are or what you’re doing. What if your entire apartment is aflame?! Wouldn’t you feel bad about all those children and puppies rendered homeless by your blatant disregard for life and property?? Also, suddenly notice that every fire truck on the street (why are there so many?!) seems to be headed in the general direction of your apartment building.
Step 5: Breathe a (Cautious) Sigh of Relief
When you return home to find a stone-cold straightener in the closet, be cautious in your sense of relief — you really never know when or where this potential disaster could strike again. Afterwards, when you realize how sweaty you’ve become from all this rushing around, go to put your hair up into a ponytail, only to find a mass of curly, frizzy strands atop your head. Because, you didn’t straighten your hair today.
Carrie’s Record Book
I’m a football fan. But please, let’s just keep this between us. I prefer to let people think that I have no interests outside of reality television whatsoever.
One thing I particularly love about football is the thrill of breaking ‘records.’ Like this one, from last week’s Denver Broncos win against the New York Jets…
“Tim Tebow had the longest game-winning touchdown, run by a quarterback, in the final minute of the 4th quarter, in NFL history”
I didn’t realize records could be so incredibly specific! Based on this standard, every day of my life has record-breaking potential! Below are some of my most recent accomplishments…
Carrie’s Record Book
Most consecutive days spent trying to convince the lady at Starbucks to re-stock the 31-ounce, ‘trenta-sized’ coffee cups, while simultaneously purchasing a 20-ounce Diet Mountain Dew
Longest distance traveled, on foot, to watch the fourth Twilight movie, at 7pm on a Friday night
Smallest proportion of correctly-spelled words in an email, even after looking almost everything up on www.dictionary.com
Shortest amount of time between telling oneself to eat healthier and buying a ‘party size’ bag of pretzel-cheddar Combos
Highest t-shirt-to-blouse ratio of any wardrobe of a 27-year-old with a job and a Masters degree
Largest amount of puppy chow consumed in a single-sitting, on a faux leather couch, while watching a marathon of TLC’s Sister Wives
Most time spent deciding between Advil PM and liquid melatonin to maintain a consistent, 10:00pm bedtime on ‘school nights’
How Chipotle is Helping You Live Longer
Yesterday, I received the best-worst news ever. Chipotle. now. has. brown. rice.
How could this happen? How could they do this to me?? Don’t they know that I’ll use any excuse to consider something “healthy”?! Like that time I found out dark chocolate can help lower your blood pressure???
I suppose there’s no going back, so instead I’ve chosen to make lemonade out of this situation. Did you know that brown rice has lots and lots of health benefits? You can find out more here. In the meantime, I’ve summarized the ways in which this latest development will improve my overall state of health and well-being.
|You’re a fickle friend, Chipotle. A fickle, fickle friend.|
How Chipotle is Helping You Live Longer (all thanks to Brown Rice)
1. Brown Rice Reduces Cholesterol
You know that half-pound of shredded cheese they always put on your burrito, despite your request for “just a little bit of cheese”? Well, with brown rice instead of white rice, you don’t even need to reduce the cheese! In fact, you should ask for more cheese! And, instead of using a fork to scoop up all that extra cheese, order a side of chips!
2. Brown Rice Helps with Type 2 Diabetes Maintenance
Which means that, after Chipotle, you can go next door to that fancy bakery and get an “oatmeal-cream-cookie-sandwich” for dessert without feeling guilty!
3. Brown Rice Can Aid Cancer Prevention
I’m not really sure how this all works, or how brown rice aids cancer prevention - I was a Political Science major in college. But what I suspect this means is that you should probably go to Chipotle 3-4 times a week, especially now that they opened one right across the street from your apartment.
4. Brown Rice Can Aid Cardiovascular Disease Prevention
To translate this into layman’s terms, after you eat your one-pound-burrito-bowl, you really don’t need to go to the gym or do any form of physical exercise. Because the brown rice is doing all of that for you!
Internal Monologue of My DVR
It’s no secret that my DVR and I share a bond breakable only by power outages. We just “get” each other, you know?
However, something very strange happened this week. As I was flipping through my shows, I noticed that my DVR had recorded something called “Cry Baby Lane” on the ‘Teen Nick’ channel. I didn’t program it, had never heard of it, and didn’t think too much about it…until I realized. Maybe my DVR knows me so well that it’s recording shows it thinks I’ll like. You know, like Netflix, only a lot creepier!
Below, I have summarized the likely internal monologue of my DVR during this unusual incident…
Internal Monologue of My DVR: The “Why I Downloaded a Teen Nick Horror Movie Without Your Knowledge” Edition
1. The ‘Made-for-TV’ Genre Is Your Lifeblood!
I haven’t forgotten about that dark day when you made me record “William and Catherine: A Royal Romance” and “The Pregnancy Pact” simultaneously. Let’s not pretend like a low-budget, made-for-TV movie on the ‘Teen Nick’ channel is outside of your comfort zone, Carrie.
2. You’re Paranoid About Everything Anyway!
Because I know that often, when you can’t sleep, you lay awake thinking about whether it’s possible that someone could have snuck into your 500-square-foot studio apartment, unnoticed, and hid somewhere, unnoticed, only to wait until you’re asleep to murder you. And I thought it might be fun if you inadvertently watched a horror movie, thinking it was a new sitcom you forgot about recording!
3. You Love ‘Tween’ Crap!
You don’t think I know how big of an achievement you thought it was to download the entire “Hey Dude” series last week?? Oh, I know. I know, and I’m judging you for it.
4. I’m Tired of You Stifling My Creative Freedom!
Throw me a bone, here. I spend the majority of my day recording shows like “I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant!” and “Sister Wives.” At least allow me a tiny shred of creative liberty. I mean, God forbid your memory card contain something that wasn’t broadcast on TLC or The Lifetime Network.
Recent Topics of Conversation with My Mother
My mom and I talk almost every day on the phone. It usually goes like this:
me: what’s up?
mom: not much. what’s up with you?
me: ohhh nothing.
Followed by a recap of the latest issues and events. I’ve taken the liberty of tracking the most recent subjects that we’ve touched upon, to serve as a valuable historical record for future generations.
Recent Topics of Conversation with My Mother
1. Did you see the Bed Bath and Beyond coupon in today’s paper?? Those things never expire!
2. Carrie, I know fresh produce doesn’t last long, but that’s not a reason to stop buying it.
3. Oh yeah? You and Dad went to hear a live band with friends last night? No, I stayed in and watched season 1 of Downton Abbey again.
4. OMG, I KNOW! Lacey and Chaz totally deserved to stay another week!!
5. Mom, just because I’ve made Scotcheroos the last few weeks doesn’t mean I plan to make them every week.