The Biggest Non-Anatomical Difference Between Me and Men

I am the epitome of a cool girlfriend. This title is not self-imposed. Past boyfriends and friends of past boyfriends have told me this more than once.  I’ve discussed in the past my ability to be one of the guys, heavily influenced by the fact that I was basically the only female child in my family until I was 11. I should also note that the street I grew up on was also basically exclusively male, in that all the kids my age were boys. I have always taken immense pride in my dude-ness. I was never a very moody girl, I don’t particularly care about girly things. I wear barely any makeup and can do my hair exactly four ways: straight, naturally dried, in a braid or in a pony tail. I’m so confused as to how girls give themselves elaborate hair styles regularly. I even put the seat UP when I’m done when I’m in an all-male household. Literally, the only things I don’t understand about men is their seemingly natural ability to handle their finances and why they get so worked up when something goes wrong with their car. And, this is because my dad handles all automobile problems of mine. He will do this until my eventual-husband takes over and if that day never comes, my brother and cousins will be busy men until I kick the bucket when I’m 110.  I love beer, I love sports, I understand the need to play video games and take naps and even sometimes sleeping through an obligation. I get mad when a ref makes a bad call. I feel more loyalty to Hockey players than I do some of my friends. I get it. I can blatantly see and recognize when a girl/girlfriend is being unreasonable and ridiculous. I almost never side with them.  For my whole life, I have identified better with most dudes than I have with many of my female friends.

This being said, because so many men have deemed me such a “cool girlfriend” (I’m confident enough to put that in quotes. Those exact words have been spoken) it’s always baffled me that I can’t seem to hold on to a boyfriend.  My longest relationship to date is approximately four months. My brother dated a girl for something like a year when he was fifteen. I’m a failure. But then, it dawned on me. Relationships do something to me. They make me a crazy version of myself who I really don’t like very much. She is moody and clingy and impatient and not very understanding or caring at all. I essentially hate her. That being said, there are not enough benefits to outweigh all that craziness so, until I learn to get a reign on that, I’m gonna fly solo. Knowing all of these things about myself lead me to a pretty outstanding insight today:

In my Clint Eastwood Authorship class, we watched the film “Play Misty For Me” which I’d never seen or even heard of. The screenplay was shit but the story was pretty good. Basically, Clint plays a radio show host and some batshit crazy fan stalks the shit out of him and deludes herself into thinking they’re in love and attempts to ruin his life after she’d lied to him and tells him she’s only interested in no-strings-attached sex. (HA! Hilarity. There were obviously no sexually empowered women prior to Chelsea Handler.) So, poor Clint is stuck with this chick constantly showing up and cooking him dinner and offering to sleep with him and he is just so utterly unenthused. What I failed to understand about the scenario is why he continued to let her into his house when she showed up. Like, he straight up welcomed her in and then slept with her. In the end, (SPOILER ALERT) he punched her in the face and she fell off a cliff and Clint and his terrorized girlfriend lived happily ever after, but I was still unhappy that he took advantage of this psycho for a little sex which, by the way, was clearly available to him in a variety of other places. He’s fucking Clint Eastwood in the 70s. He was going to be fine without this girl.

So, while I normally talk to no one at school, between Clint’s class and the class I T.A. for, I was talking to a dude who’s in both classes and he asked what I thought of the film. I told him I liked the story, but voiced my concerns with Clint’s willingness to entertain the crazy chick when he was clearly in love with the girlfriend. I shit you not, the following is what this kid said to me:

“Yeah, I guess but I mean, if a chick shows up at your door naked, you don’t turn her away…”

…Now I know why I don’t talk to anyone at school. Please, please if any man who isn’t related to me and trying to set a good example disagrees with this, tell me. I truly don’t want this to be what’s forever implanted in my mind as a man’s idea of sex. I will hope to God forever and ever that this kid is just a poor film student with no other options. But, assuming this is the popular opinion because another kid in the room echoed it, I’m going to tell you the single largest difference between me and men based on this assumption.

If a man – batshit crazy stalker or not – showed up at my house naked and unannounced, he would be turned away. The door would be locked. I would not allow him in then and probably never,  ever again. I might even call the police. In addition, I hope that me being present and naked are never, ever the only qualifications needed for me to be invited inside a house for any reason, let alone to have sex. I’m sorry, I have a bizarre need to be liked as a human being with thoughts and a brain by the person I’m involved with at any level. In case you haven’t noticed and I haven’t said it enough, I’m pretty freaking awesome. My girlfriend resume, although with limited references, is outstanding. I am funny and smart and will never give you a hard time for wanting to watch football over have dinner or do something equally stupid that we can do at any other time that football isn’t on. I will always order beer and will get you one, whether you asked me to or not. I will offer and genuinely want to pay when I can afford it. I am both very cute and hysterical. I laugh at poop jokes and dead baby jokes and women jokes  and other equally offensive things and never get offended, and I will NEVER fart in front of you. Ever. As far as you’re concerned, the only thing that goes on in that bathroom is makeup fixing. Honestly, the benefits of dating me are truly unending.  DO NOT INVITE ME IN SOLELY BECAUSE I’M THERE AND NAKED! If I am batshit crazy and clearly trying to kill you/your girlfriend/your house keeper with a giant butcher knife, JUST SAY NO! There are a slew of other reasons TO invite me inside. Do not belittle me and my brain by having nakedness be the one that wins out.

And, I’ve decided that along with the clear anatomical differences, this desire and need to be liked as an actual person is the very biggest difference between me and the male species. The end.

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Driving Home in Traffic on A Friday

Of all the things in life that make me nervous, traffic on my drive home is almost never one of them. To clarify, traffic on my drive TO school or work or my internship is an entirely different thing. I am the very picture of road rage if I am traveling less than 65mph on the Southern State at 8AM on my way to class. I have places to be and all you idiots are in my way and I am the only human on planet Earth that knows how to drive a car, apparently. There is no reason to step on the breaks, asshole. You are all going to prevent me from getting a parking space, which will literally ruin my day. (My parking anxiety is off the charts. I leave 2 hours early for class. I live 20 minutes from campus.) It should also be said that if I’m more than fifteen minutes late getting to campus, unless it’s a three hour class, I just won’t go. (More on my anxiety from walking into crowded rooms alone later.) But, as much as I detest my drive to school/interning, I love my drive home. In fact, it just took me 45 minutes to do what is usually a 20 minute drive and loved every second of it.

First of all, I’m going home. It’s a Friday afternoon and I have nowhere to be. The same is usually true when I’m driving home from class any night of the week because I actually have no discernible social life these days. There is no better feeling than to have nowhere to be; no deadlines, nothing scheduled. It is literally the best. I can’t begin to understand why people get stressed out in home-bound traffic. Are you in a rush to get to your couch? Do you have to poop? These are real questions, people. My advice is: invest in an iPod and embrace it. Rush hour is going to happen. You are never going to stop it. It’s a shit ton more enjoyable with the windows down and singing John Mayer or The Offspring, both featured artists on my driving-home-diva-concert today. It’s the best when I’m in the car alone, which is often. (I’m alone often, if you haven’t caught on to that by now.) I can’t carry a tune to save my life. I don’t even sing karaoke because I’d feel bad for strangers/I’m scared of being judged. But in the car by myself, I sing as loud as I can because the music’s so loud not even I can judge me. It is quite possibly my favorite part of my week.

Second of all, I don’t have to talk to anyone. Technically, I can’t answer my phone because I’m driving on the parkway. It’d be unsafe for me to take a call doing 70. That’s what I tell you, but in all actuality, I love not talking to you for that 20 minutes to an hour. If i wanted to talk to you, I’d probably damn all the consequences and answer the phone anyway. But, I’m very busy giving the best musical performance of my life, thank you very much.

So here I am: alone, singing, being happy, and ignoring all of you. What is bad? I don’t understand why people complain about commuting, unless they’re exclusively complaining about the drive to work. The drive home has the potential to be the most relaxing, fantastic part of your day if you do it right. Or they’re taking the train. That’s probably not fun at all and you might fall asleep and sleep through your stop and end up in another country. Terrifying.

 

(Also, I thought of all this on my drive home. Where else do you have that much free thinking time? Nowhere. That’s where. Showers are short. Don’t kid yourself.)

Words for My Grandmother

Wanna be truly baffled by something? Despite all my weird anxious tendencies, I genuinely like public speaking and apparently, I’m pretty good at it. So, when my parents asked me if I’d want to speak at my grandma’s wake, I immediately accepted. So, these are my words for my Nonni. It’s what I read at her wake, the best way I know how to remember her and celebrate her life:

For the past few weeks, a lot of people, mostly older people who haven’t seen me in a while, have said things to me to the effect of “So, you’re the oldest huh?”.  And while, obviously, I’d been aware of that ever since my brother came around, giving me someone to be older than, it’s only recently that I’ve realized the immense privilege and important responsibility the mere coincidence of my birthday has imparted on me. I am Jim and Marie’s first grandchild.  I existed and shone in the spotlight alone for five whole years, completely uninterrupted. But, while the 5-15 extra years I got with my grandparents compared to my brother and cousins are the absolute greatest blessing of my life, what I’ve come to realize is truly most important to me is ensuring that the seven little people who follow me remember and feel equally as blessed to have been loved as deeply and unconditionally as I will forever know I was and am.

Knowing Jake and Bobbi’s most prominent memories of Nonni could end up to be her in the hospital was devastating to me and often brought me to tears. For a while, it was sad and unfair to me that they would never know the same Nonni that I knew. But, as the first grandchild, I will be sure they recall the strong, vivid woman who literally never stopped moving – the same woman I knew as a preschooler. I didn’t have a regular grandma, I remember often thinking.  She wasn’t old. She ran errands and scrubbed her whole house every Saturday. It always smelled like clean air and lemons and the cushions would always be lifted off the couch so there’d be nowhere for me to sit. Music would blare until at least noon every weekend. “What time does she wake up?” I wondered. She was impressive and if we’re being honest, a little scary. She drove a car and cooked dinner for a billion people once a week and although, to my knowledge, she never baked, there was always desert. My parents didn’t need to take her to the doctor’s office like my friends’ parents had to do for their grandmas. It was a mystery to me that my grandma wasn’t old, but it was only the beginning of me knowing I had something other kids didn’t. Jake and Bobbi will know that their Nonni was special; unlike all the other grandmas.

I never want Julie or Jack or James to allow the smell of a hospital to evoke a memory of Nonni. Instead, I want them to remember the smell of her house on a Saturday morning or on Christmas day; each having it’s own unmistakable and wonderful aroma. It took me quite some time to pin down that Christmas smell. It hits you like a ton of bricks as soon as you manage to push open that enormous hall door with your little, little hands – throwing all of your tiny little body weight behind your push, unable to get there fast enough. But, the mixture of the food and the tree – always real – and the warmth is my favorite smell in the universe. Christmas was and will always be my favorite family tradition. I hope those tiny little brains remember Christmas with Nonni – the fiasco that was distributing gifts, the excruciating wait to make sure everyone had their gifts before you could open yours. Grandpa yelling to just let the kids open their presents – unable to bare seeing any one of us the least bit unhappy for even a brief second – and Nonni insisting that everything be executed with total equality. She loved all of us exactly the same – to the moon and back at least 10 or 11 times. The magic that was her house on Christmas and even at Sunday dinners, my second favorite childhood memory, reaffirmed for the grade school version of me that my grandma was way better than everyone else’s.

I hope Daniella and PJ take with them always the strength and good sense I’ve only recently come to truly know our Nonni embodied. Over the past year or so, I’ve watched her endure more than I’ve ever witnessed a human go through. But, our superhero grandma did so with grace and a sense of humor and kept her family in her heart until the very end.  She constantly sought to remind me what was truly important in life.  When my friends’ grandmothers often pestered them throughout high school and college about who they were dating, mine reinforced my lofty career goals always reminding me how important it was to work hard – I’d have plenty of time for relationships later. The very same woman, with the beautiful women she raised, coached me through my very first broken heart.  They picked me up and glued me back together and gave me the strength and courage to cross an ocean and find my independence again.  She did all of this from a hospital bed, mind you.  When I visited her the day I left for Ireland, I was quickly kicked out of the room. There was no reason to get myself upset, she told me. I was going there knowing it may be the last time I see her, but instead she kissed me goodbye, told me to be careful and enjoy myself. She’d be there when I got back. “No Irishmen” she added, with a laugh. And then, she kicked me out. No exaggeration. She told me to leave. And she was still there. She was nothing if not reliable. Up until her last days, she asked about my plans post-grad; progress with internships and upcoming interviews.  “Take everything you want from life” she told me. And so, as Dani enters Middle school and PJ leaves high school, I want them to chase and work for their dreams.  To have good sense and to always remember what’s important – your ambition, your happiness and your family. Always, always, always family.

Nonni didn’t want us to mourn, so I’ll try my best to keep it to a minimum.  I will celebrate and keep alive her memory as the strongest most beautiful, inspiring role model I could’ve asked for as a woman and a person.  I will keep our traditions. I will do better at cleaning my room and helping my mom with the housework, no matter how little free time I think I have. I will never buy trashy clothes or dye my hair a color that doesn’t naturally occur in nature. No piercings will ever grace anywhere but my ears and I will make an effort to wear jewelry more often. I will consider wearing more sensible heels, but on that subject I can make no promises. I will try not to wear pink. I will be careful and patient, always. I will chase my dreams with my whole heart and always keep my family close.  I will work hard and fight like hell for the life I want – the best one possible, the one Nonni wanted for me.  I will be sure my cousins, my brother and myself never once settle. Our Nonni fought. She never gave up and because we had her, we’ve grown accustomed to having the best.  She taught by example that quitting isn’t something we do. It’s certainly not in the Abramonte blood and all of us have some of her. Bobbi will have her love of shopping and pretty things, Jack and Jake will never have untidy homes – everything has a place. PJ and Julie love deeply and their compassion comes from her, almost directly.  James will always, always laugh and he’ll protect his sisters with the ferocity with which Nonni would have protected any one of us. In Daniella and myself I see the drive to not only do well, but good. For the two of us, good is good, but we can always do better; we will never grow complacent or overly content. And, as the oldest grandchild, I promise to be sure all 8 of us take everything we want from life every day and always for her.

2012: The Most Confusing Year of My Life

I’m really at odds with how I feel about this year, overall, up until this point. I apologize if this is more emotional than I deserve to be or have been up until this point, but that’s where I am right now.

As far as I can remember, and you can’t hold me to this because I tend to remember things as I want to rather than how they actually occurred, I started off this year pretty awesome. I had just turned 21 and I was ready to go. In February, I met who we’re going to call my first real boyfriend, because as I’ve established previously, I’m not sure that John actually counted and I was actually head over heels in love – for real this time. My job was taken over by it’s new owners, which seemed to be an improvement. The Rangers were doing well, the Mets were promising, school was going well and I had recently decided I would be spending a chunk of my summer in Ireland. I had little to complain about other than the fact that my grandparents had both been sick, but as I understood it, that was common of grandparents. And, my grandparents always got better. It wasn’t abnormal for our family to spend a solid portion of the cold months back and forth from hospitals. It had been something I’d grown to expect from my grandfather.

And then, first slowly and then quickly, everything changed.

My grandparents never got better. They seemed to be getting sicker and I realized all too quickly that I would soon need to face reality that people get old and die, even if they really, really love me. Late April, or early May – honestly, I can’t really remember – my good friend lost her 24 year old sister to cancer, the same God awful disease that, coincidentally, was sucking the life out of my grandmother before my eyes. I was also starting to come to terms with the fact that my academic career would soon be over. Which for me was and is still absolutely terrifying. My whole life, all I’ve ever been truly talented at is being a student. I was and am unsure if I will be able to make it as a real person. All of this horribleness was tempered by the fact that, for the first time in my life, someone was unconditionally there for me and entirely mine to have. Aside from the indescribable love I have for my family and the immense appreciation and affection I have for my best friends, I had never known this love. I had never been committed to another person the way I was now. I saw all of these awful things swirling around me, but I didn’t have to pay attention because he was there and he would make it okay. Leaving the country for a month, being unsure of what or who I would come home to, it was all going to be fine because he would still be there. He promised he would be there.

And then, he wasn’t.

Early June would be the first time of three, so far, that my entire world collapsed this year. Suddenly and with little to no understandable explanation, he was gone. I no longer had someone to make sure the universe didn’t fall apart. I understood logically he had no abilities to make sure everything would be okay, but being near him made everything feel okay. But, I wasn’t near him anymore. He didn’t want to be near me even though only weeks, days, minutes before, I had been his whole world – his only concern being if I was happy. Maybe that was the root of our problem. My mind couldn’t process how someone could just walk away from love that way because the only love I’d had is the kind you don’t walk away from – the love you’re born into, born a part of and the other kind, the mutual kind that the universe just seems to know you need. I knew I had my family and friends, but I still felt deeply alone while I prepared to board a plane and cross an ocean. I was watching both of my grandparents shrink by the minute. The strong forces of nature I once knew were now reduced to shadows of themselves. It was crippling. And I was alone. And I couldn’t take it.

And then, I left.

I did the bravest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. I accepted things for what they were and the idea that time would continue whether I was there to observe it or not and that he didn’t love me anymore and that my grandparents were going to be gone someday very, very soon. I got on a plane, partly alone but partly with my best friend, and I spent a month hundreds of miles away, unable to control a single aspect of my little bubble of a world. I tried to love it as much as  I could. I tried to appreciate it for what it was – probably the single most freeing and wonderful experience of my young life – but every day I missed him and I worried about home. It was hard but I love myself so much more for doing it. Things started to feel more normal every day. I heard from him regularly and we were getting ready for hockey season and my family was going to be around me so soon and my friends were home, where they belonged and we’d spend the end of our summer together and maybe he’d be mine again when I got home.

And then, my world collapsed again.

I landed at JFK and I had my parents and a welcome home text from the former center of my world. I walked through the door to my house and a surprise puppy had joined our family while I’d been gone. And then, some words and my grandfather was gone. He’d passed only days before I was scheduled to return, they told me. They tried to get me home in time, but couldn’t. They didn’t wan to upset me. I respected and understood their decision and was thankful they didn’t break my heart while I was enjoying my final days in Ireland. I accepted that my grandpa was at peace and no longer in pain and I said goodbye. But, days passed and my love still wasn’t mine again and I still didn’t feel whole. I was angry at him for leaving me so alone when I’d done nothing wrong and truly needed him most. He promised he’d be there. I didn’t break promises and so, he shouldn’t either. I decided this was unacceptable and I tried to become myself again, by myself. I focused all my energy on school and my upcoming career and adventure to the real world. In less than two months, I landed two internships and my first paid job in a TV/Film related field. I could leave the job I hated and I finally started to feel happy again. I saw how determined I was and I loved myself for it. I was starting to see myself and not just a giant sobbing puddle. All the while, I was watching my grandmother battle the Cancer, watching her cling on to life with all her strength. It was unbearable to see, so I distracted myself.

And now, as of yesterday, she’s gone too.

You think that when you know it’s coming that you’ll be able to cope better, but you’re not. It’s still like taking a bullet and you’re still selfish and want them back while simultaneously being so thankful they’re no longer in pain. And here I am with this new wonderful job, on the brink of a new, wonderful life and horribly miserable in this moment. Every time I stand back up, I get knocked down again and I’m just not sure how people do this. I know I’m strong because I’ve had to prove it enough this year, but I’m just not sure how much more I can take. I’m tired of feeling bruised. There’s something terribly unfair about doing all of this to a person all at once. I still feel alone sometimes, even though I know I’m not. But I’m confident in myself and my abilities. And I’m excited. And I’m way too emotional. It’s all really at odds with itself and I’m not sure how to feel or act or be, at all. Thank God for my family and me being born a part of so much love and knowing how to love my friends unconditionally and forever. I pray every day that that’s enough.

When you make less money than you spend

Short post because it’s been a long and exhausting weekend but this has been bugging me since Friday.

As I understand it, not having a big enough income is a common problem. Nationwide, maybe even. In fact, it may be the very reason credit cards and credit debt exist. But who am I to make such grand assumptions about economy-related-things? I know nothing.

This week my paycheck was for exactly 80 cents less than I needed to cover just my basic expenditures for the week. These basic expenditures include gas to get to and from school/work/internships and anywhere else I may need to go, which sometimes includes the hospital to visit my grandma and the mall to exacerbate my depression over having no money and loving pretty clothes. They also include my credit card payment, which I make weekly in order to keep my debt at bay while still maintaining some form of personal credit and finally, paying Jess back the $130 I owe her from while we were in Dublin and she put our hotel on her credit card. To give you an insight on how little money I make, it’s taken me three weeks to save up $130 while not entirely draining my bank account. So when I say I have no money, I literally have no money. I cannot even buy a cup of coffee let alone pay the cover for 3 bars in a night, friends. My net worth is way in the negative these days. Stop bothering me about how infrequently I come out. You bitches are expensive to keep up with.

Also, because technically I made -$.80 this week, I can’t go shopping or buy ANYTHING. This is terrible if you’re me. Retail therapy is all that works. I love having nice things so, so much.

As I’ve mentioned, in the past few weeks I’ve become absolutely obsessed with keeping track of my spending and not overdrawing my checking account. But, what happens when there is literally just not enough money coming in to cover even the basics? You ask mom and dad, that’s what. But in real life, where I intend to be in three months, I want to rely on my wonderful, unfailing, constantly reliable safety net as infrequently as possible. So, making not enough money makes me feel pretty disgusting. And I know, money can’t buy happiness and all that jazz. I know. But, I just want to be independent and I think that’s a pretty good thing to want to be as a person and money is kind of the key to that these days. I hate the idea of having to rely on my parents for gas money or even worse, money to go out on the weekends. Those, I feel, are things they shouldn’t have to pay for anymore. I also feel after working for six years of my life, I should have something more to show for it, but hey. Thems the breaks I guess. And, just putting this out there, I don’t know how people -girls specifically- live with themselves if they allow their boyfriends to pay for things. I don’t mean like dinner or a movie or whatever it is that couples do – but paying for their bills or clothes or tangible things of that sort which boyfriends have no business paying for. Gifts occasionally are nice but how do you let yourself be entirely reliant on another person who may or may not be gone tomorrow? I don’t understand it. Maybe you can explain it to me. But maybe better off, just accept that I’m probably right and if you’re doing it, stop it. I don’t even feel entirely comfortable letting men buy me a drink at a bar (unless you’re my friend and I know you’re not trying any funny business. Then, I will take all of the free drinks, gentlemen). I don’t want to owe anyone anything. Why do you let some man put gas in your car? Questions that will never have answers.

I don’t have much else to say about this other than it sucks a lot and I am literally begging for positive thoughts for my job interview tomorrow because I firmly believe it will be the solution to all of my financial problems, at least for a while.

The Day The NHL Will Probably Lock Out

Today, hearts of hockey fans everywhere are heavy and broken. If the players and the owners fail to reach an agreement by midnight tonight, for the second time in 8 years, the NHL will lock out its players. And, Sid told us that things don’t look promising and I believe anything he says. I have no idea what this means technically for the league or the economy or statistically or anything fancy like that. I love sports, I really do, but numbers hurt my brain so overall my understanding is that it’s no good.  This is not a sports blog. If you’re looking for something more technical, I suggest you go elsewhere. I wanted to say something about this because it profoundly effects my life as a sports fan. So, personally, this is what the NHL lockout means for me.

First of all, I love those players more than I love most people I actually know and have a real connection to. But, when most of my fellow 20-something’s are struggling just to get jobs and pay bills, it’s a little off putting to know that there are kids – and they are kids. Most rookies are younger than me – in the world who are arguing over millions of dollars in revenue to play a game. Just saying. But, I do side with them. I think if the money’s there, they’re the ones who deserve to have it over the owners. They’re the ones getting their heads bashed in and enduring what I can’t even begin to understand is the physical toll of Hockey. They’re the ones the fans love and who they come to see, not the owners. It’s their merchandise we buy. They’re where the money comes from and they truly earn it. As far as I’m concerned, the owners should be so afraid of losing them, they grant them every single concession.

But what does it mean practically for my day-to-day life when the NHL locks out? Cause let’s face it. That’s what’s most important here. By August, I miss Hockey so much that I’m literally counting the days until October. This is entirely at odds with my unnatural love and attachment to the Summer months, but usually by mid August, the Mets have lost my attention and have completely disappointed me. Football has started and I love my Jets, but football doesn’t offer the same kind of longevity and commitment that Hockey does. Football is almost entirely over as the Hockey season is just reaching its midpoint. What am I supposed to do with myself in February? The NBA? That’s a joke. Then there’s March Madness, which is often even eclipsed by The Rangers’ run for the playoffs anyway. Not having Hockey is like pressing pause on my life Fall through Spring. It’s the only reason I look forward to the cold months. I get more excited for the Winter Classic, a game that actually means nothing, than I do for New Years. I will literally not know what to do with myself without a Hockey season. And, what am I supposed to put on my Christmas list, may I ask? Last year, I got two jerseys. I had every intention of expanding my collection this year to keep up with the trades since some of my favorite players are sadly no longer Blueshirts and my boyfriend, Jordan Staal, has been traded to the Hurricanes. But, if I don’t know where the revenue’s going, you can be sure I won’t be spending any money on NHL merchandise or asking my relatives to.

So basically, the NHL lockout will be saving me, the fan, a lot of time and money. It will allow me to invest that time and money elsewhere – maybe in the NFL which needs no help growing and attracting a fan base. I will certainly miss hockey games and all my winter hockey gear, but I could also use an extra $1,000 which is probably about what I spend in all facets of Hockey things over the course of a season between tickets and merchandise. Hear that, Bettman? You’re only hurting yourself here. Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face, you awful little troll. Give us our season!

10 Things About My Current Life That Terrify Me

Not to let anyone be under the impression that I have my life together at all, here’s a brief and extremely limited view into the constant worry that plagues my anxiety riddled mind. To be clear, these are things I worry about, not sometimes, but basically at all times and this was a lot harder to limit to only 10 things than my other list. My life has become a cycle of me worrying and talking myself out of worrying daily. Accept it. I’ve learned to make it work.

1. I’ve wasted most of my time working at part time jobs that will not benefit me at all post-graduation

While most of what we’ll call my “major-friends” (friends who I only know because they are also film majors, but I rarely see outside of school) have spent their years at Hofstra heavily involved in Film Club or TV things or working for free somewhere in Bumblefuck New York on the weekends as a PA on some straight to DVD indie shoot, I was not afforded that luxury. I spent my nights and weekends throughout college working at a ridiculous part time job to afford gas and beer and little else. My resume is chock full o’ customer service experience, but I have to seriously stretch to fill it with Film experience. Career wise, I’m sure there are people out there with less experience than I, but what really sucks if I allow myself to think about it for long enough is I seriously missed out on an important part of college – the lifelong friend part. I often feel like everyone knows each other from spending weekends together working on various sets whereas I just go to class and then go to work and talk to no one in the process. That’s partly my own fault, of course and it’s partly me just being dramatic and bitter that my parents aren’t loaded (curse you, universe) but it kinda sucks.

2. I am constantly broke and managing my money makes me a little nauseous

I think in general people don’t love being reminded how little money they have so this is probably the one that makes me feel least like a crazy person. The idea of opening up my banking app on my phone stresses me out so badly sometimes that I used to just avoid doing it. The direct result of that, by the way, was me overdrawing my checking account on an almost weekly basis. There’s truth in the idea that ignoring your problems makes them worse. Recently, The Google found some crazy cool basic finance apps that allow me to track my spending and thus, I’m way more neurotic about when I swipe my debit card than I’ve ever been before in my life. The obvious solution to this problem would be to eliminate my debit card and carry cash like a normal human, but that would be way too inconvenient. I’d rather just be panicked all the time.

3. I haven’t even started my life for real and I’ve accrued an enormous amount of debt

While we’re on the topic of how little money I have: If you don’t have this concern after graduating from college, my suggestion is to just avoid me for a while because I’m just not gonna like you at all.

4. I have friends who seem to be only seconds away from being engaged

My problems with relationships are way too enormous to even begin discussing them here but as I’ve mentioned, I still see myself as a fifteen year old. A significant number of my friends are currently dating the person they see themselves marrying. To me, this is a completely insane thing to even conceptualize. Especially since I am dating no one. We are still children [in my head]. We should not yet be talking about things like being married or having babies [in my head]. But, in reality, we’re of the perfect age to begin having real, meaningful, potentially life-long relationships and that is terrifying in and of itself. Again, I’m dating no one. To know that my friends will likely soon be sporting engagement rings and having bachelor parties makes me want to vom.

5. I have fat genes and no free time

First, I should clarify that I classify “free time” probably differently than most people do. Free time is not not not time that is allotted to sleeping and/or napping. That is an important part of my day that I knowingly schedule in so the dilemma most people have: take a nap or go to the gym? is never one that I have. Ever. But anyway, I’m genetically predisposed to being obese. I love my parents dearly but I curse their thighs and propensity for diabetes and heart disease. I eat healthy for the most part and – God bless my dad’s union health insurance – I see a multitude of doctors annually. And, truth be told, I go to the gym when I can but more often than not, after all is said and done, I’m exhausted  and I use my precious little free time to manage some semblance of a social life (Sleep > going to a bar with my friends, by the way. In case you were wondering). I hold dear the theory that one person can not have everything. I do pretty well in school, have wonderful friends and a family who is my whole world.  Maybe I’ll just never be skinny. I’ve come to terms with that. But, I still worry about being out of shape for a few reasons. 1. My family truly has terrible genes. If not monitored, I’m a breeding ground for more diseases than I care to discuss and 2. I really, really love clothes and being able to buy and wear the clothes I want and the bigger I am, the more difficult it becomes to indulge my shopping habit and still be dressed appropriately. My body image is a whole entirely separate issue that I’ll discuss at another time, though.

6. Cancer

I was never, ever afraid of cancer until I saw it happen to my grandma: the strongest and most capable woman I know. To this day, I have no idea how old Noni is because she always appeared to be mid-to-late fifties. Seeing this awful disease literally suck the life out of this constantly moving force of nature has horrified me beyond all recognition. Some of you might wonder why I eat so many tomatoes. 1. It’s because I love tomatoes but 2. it’s because I once read in what I can assure you was not a medical journal that Lycopene wards off skin cancer – the very cancer I probably have the highest chance of contracting – and tomatoes are full of Lycopene. I will continue to do crazy things like gorge myself on tomatoes but I will not discontinue indoor tanning or wear sunscreen anywhere but my face and tattooed places. This is the mystery that is my brain. This also traces back to me being afraid of my crappy gene pool and also part of why, if you’re lucky, I’ll one day explain to you my plan for how I intend to breed perfect, blonde, professional athlete children. Genetics is a scary thing.

7. I can’t afford anything I want. How do people afford things?

Nobody works and everyone has all this extra time and money to do things they want to do. I work constantly and never have money for anything. What am I doing wrong?!

8. I have no way of knowing if I’m as talented as any of my peers.

This is just me second guessing myself. I’m pretty good at what I do but I’d like to be graded on some kind of scale. Like to be ranked in life just like how I was ranked in high school. That’d be prefect. Without grades how will I know if I’m doing it wrong!?

9. My chosen career field will probably never allow me to retire

This is a sad fact of reality, albeit something I was aware of when I decided on my major. Thankfully I love what I do.

10. I’m too nostalgic about high school

This worries me to almost no limit. I’ve been told the horrors of being the girl who peaked in high school. I can probably be found on record saying that I would give a limb – an important limb – to go back to high school well over one hundred times. Most of my friends, by this point, have successfully moved on with their lives and are enjoying college and whatever else it is that they do while they’re not at home entertaining me. I, however, three months away from college graduation still spend time wondering when it is that I’ll be allowed to go back to High School. That was when life was good. I’m genuinely worried that life will never be better for me than it was in 2009 and that it’s me holding myself back. Is there something I can do to help myself move on with life? Someone please help.

Other constant worries that were close contenders: I have no clean clothes, I have nothing to wear to ______, Where will I find time to sleep this week?, Does my ex boyfriend miss me at all?, The possibility that my phone might die mid-day and I’ve forgotten a cell phone charger, My friends are all out and no one called me, I’m going to die alone, I’m going to live in my parents house forever, I’m going to die.

So. As you can see, although sometimes I may feel like I’m doing something right, generally, I’m a mess. Who wants to trade places now?…Didn’t think so.