People deal with stress with all different ways. Drugs, yoga, excessive drinking, meditation. I’ve taken up m*sterbation this weekend. I know it’s not shameful. Extremely normal. Maybe I just need a seratonian release or something of the sort. It’s just not like me. I need to forget about the past weeks stresses. Though when I’m through I feel more alone. Sometimes more depressed. Maybe it’s just as women were conditioned that its something abnormal. Or maybe I’m just old fashioned.
Monthly Archives: March 2008
You say “office politics,” I say “baby games.” Why is it a group of profession-anals revert to childhood at the workplace? It forces us all to play the “game.” Work is a schoolyard with telephones and computers. There are bullies, cheerleaders, geeks, and the ones who declares themselves popular. We’ve traded in four square, monkey bars, and whole milk for pointless meetings, emails, pissing contests and anti-depressants. She was the one on the play ground who said in that singsong voice, “I’m going to tell.” When you get to know the tattle tale you begin to warn the boss before she hears it from them. A phrase was said out of frustration or annoyance. A sarcasm gone bad. You became human for a second and dropped the act. Or maybe it’s nothing. But there is still that need to cover your own ass because no one watches out for you the way you watch out for you. Day and day out it’s tiresome. No wonder why we come home to veg on the couch and watch reality TV. Stars dancing, twenty-something trash living in a house of horrors, competetions to become supermodels, chefs, dancers, married, or skinny. I need to escape the playground. Not participating or rising above the game only works for so long. All this negative energy puts me in the slump. I used to leave it at the end of the day. I practiced it. Abided by it. But some days the tattle tale gets to you. The child within feelings are hurt. You think about faking sick, needing a mental health day. Making pancakes and watching Jane Austen inspired films. The adult knows and feels responsibility. There are meetings on the calendar. Problems to be solved. Fires to be put out. So pancakes and Jane Austen must wait until Saturday. The day of recovery. It’s a slump. It’s not permanent. I can’t let it be.
I wasn’t an early reader of Sassy. In 1988 I was 10. Perhaps I grazed through my adolescence sneaking peeks at my older sisters issues, but as I aged, I became a Sassy girl. Reading How Sassy Changed My Life: A Love Letter to the Greatest Teem Magazine of All Time by Kara Jesella and Marisa Meltzer is a nostalgic trip to the early 90’s where individuality was all the rage. What a better guide book for teenage girls to turn to than a weekly publication to learn what was cool. Girls around the nation gobbled it up cover to cover searching for the keys to the cultural kingdom. Unlocking the mystery of adolescence while illuminating indie rock, politics, sex, abortion, feminism, and licking up everything else the magazine sponged unto us. Sassy was our queen bee.
Reading this book made me analyze my teenage years and formations. It shaped who was I was, who I am. I transformed into Sassy girl with out realizing it. Sassy taught me what it meant to be a feminist. According to the authors I was not alone. ”In a way, a commercial magazine with advertisements for eye shadow and Doc Martens was the perfect place for the Sassy staff to get out the message that girls were equal to boys, that the right to abortion was imperative, and that being smart was more important than being popular.”
There were other things I picked up from the magazine along the way too. Around sophomore year of high school my best friend Carla and I started producing a blog called Potatodog. “Sassy encouraged girls not to just consume culture…but to create themselves…Sassy single-handedly shifted the paradigm of what kinds of things were cool for a teenage girl to do.”
Beyond my own historical journey, as the book unfolds readers learn the rise and fall of the most unique teen magazine of all time. Ironically the book could have been called How Sassy Changed my Life: A Love Letter to Christina Kelly. For it was Christina Kelly who helped define what was cool in her What Now section and introduced many of us to what was “indie.” Plus, she professed love for cute boys. She seemed to be the sass behind Sassy and clearly knew her role. As they all did. Reading about their office life as an almost 30 year old I’m jealous for they still seem so cool. The office was like a playground for incestuous affairs, late nights, free CDs, celebrities, and pink cubicles.
Sassy ended up being it’s own contradiction in many respects, but what resonates personally is that “conformity became uniformity.” As a teen I was consciously nonconformist. As an adult, I’m definitely an individual, but don’t feel the need to be in a certain box and am comfortable with who I am. I learned. I grew. I am grateful for something that influenced and contributed to my being. Which in my opinion, was Sassy’s overall message, so all these years later, I’m proud to say I’m a Sassy girl.
*This was my first attempt at a book review of sorts.
You are of that masculine biking breed. Eat. Ride. Breathe. Lance. Sleep. Bike. Sex. Pedal. We used to call Lance your boyfriend. You liked my innocent teasing about the bike. Your committment and love for it was something I respected. Admired even. If only you could have projected those feelings on to me. When I saw this film advertised earlier this week, I really wanted to email you. It’s the first time I really felt like contacting you for months. You’d call me or write me a sarcastic email in return. We’d be at our respective computers butterflies in stomach, smile spreading with just seeing the others email address in the “IN” box. I miss sharing goofy things with you. Things that would make you smile. Suddenly I miss you, talking about the bike.
In a grocery store the lady in the line in front of you sets on the belt your favorite yogurt. You innocently say, “Oh, isn’t that the best yogurt you ever tasted?” She turns around looks you in dead in the eye and says, “Why yes! It’s the only thing I can eat for breakfast! My dick of a husband keeps telling me my ass is getting fat. He used to like my ass! He used to call it ‘bootylicious’. We used to have sex night and day and he rode my ass all the way to Texas and back!” She laughs her hardly laugh.You have a smile plastered to your face thinking to yourself “What the fuck did I just get myself into. Why did I have to comment on that yogurt!” Why do we tell strangers things we usually reserved for-if not our loved ones-our shrinks. Sometimes we say nothing at all, and the person washing their hands next us tells us about their bowel movement problems. Do we tell strangers things because we will never see them again? Do we confide in strangers because it’s easier than confiding in people we know? I can’t think of the last time I did this. But I also look forward to the next time I seek comfort in a stranger.
Nephew and I found this notecard a couple of weeks ago at laying on the check out counter in Target. (Click on Flicker link to read.) We’re in the thick of the political season and I wonder about the person who left it behind. Are there other cards out there waiting to be found. Is it meant to spark a discussion? Do they want to be heard? Do they have a mental illness? Is it ironic they left it a Target?I once in high school photocopied a quiz out of Sassy magazine called “Are You a Poser?” and hung it all over school. The grunge movement was just beginning and my first few months of freshman I was ridiculed for wearing Converse All Stars, flowy flower skirts, T-shirts and flannels. By Spring everyone was wearing Converse in an array of colors. Flannels were all the rage. I was fed up with the girls in my school. I wanted to spark something in people (and I was a bit of a punk) and make them think about where their taste comes from, their friends or them self? It sparked an article in the school paper and maybe an editorial or two. I’m not sure I ever told anyone I did it. My mom loves to talk about the state of America. It’s politics, economy, people. Maybe this person needed to vent and share their feelings with the world. Or at least a Target customer or two.
Here is how I explained it to a friend: It’s this state park about 2 hours outside of Chicago. There are all sorts of nature hikes–well more like nature walks–and a lodge that you can stay in–it’s rustic and campy. It’s cute. Why is it called Starved Rock you ask? Well, there is this large rock [see photo] and the Native Americans went up there and starved themselves to fight the man or something. Well I don’t know that’s the real story but it sounds good.Mom loves it. She goes almost every year. Brother has gone with her. Aunt has gone. Nephew has gone. Her friends have gone. It was my turn to take one for the team.Truth is it was fun.We got to the lodge early Friday afternoon, read in front of the fireplace in the great room. Went swimming and in the hot tub. Saturday morning I woke up early and decided to go on a hike by myself to the top of Starved Rock and to see some of the canyons. It was actually really therapeutic to go walking in the woods solo. It’s something I need to do more often. We played scrabble and explored the nearby small towns. It was great to get out of the city. It was great that I could do something so small that made my mom so happy.