When I’m dead I’ll rest

Say Anything-Is A Real BoyYesterday Say Anything’s album …Is A Real Boy turned 10 years old. Amid all  the day-to-day hubbub that seems to occupy more and more of my brain space—appointments, never-ending grocery lists, the growing stack of folders on my desk at work—a record that means quite a bit to me celebrated a decade of existence. Depending on who you ask, album anniversaries are either momentous occasions to be celebrated or wildly overhyped dates. I probably fall somewhere in the middle—except in the case of Say Anything.

I could talk for hours about how much this band and the brainchild behind it, Max Bemis, mean to me. They are, by far, my favorite modern band. So regardless of how I feel about most album anniversaries, by sheer default, I was pretty excited yesterday. But I was also hesitant to write anything about it. After all, I’d already written an official piece on the importance of the album in the September issue of AP. Did I really need to write something else? Did it matter?

If you’re reading this, you already know the answer, but in case you just joined us: yes. Sure, maybe 10-year anniversaries (or anniversaries of any kind) are kind of arbitrary, but it’s important to acknowledge the songs and albums and bands that changed our lives. At the end of the day I won’t remember the appointments, the never-ending grocery lists and the growing stack of folders on my desk at work. But I’ll always remember how I felt when I first heard …Is A Real Boy. That’s just what a great album can do for you.

Thanks for that, Max.

 

 

Charleston is nice this time of year

90 percent of the time I’m incredibly happy for my friends and their accomplishments. But when those accomplishments take them away from me, that other 10 percent of me gets a little unhappy. All the sudden I have an overwhelming urge to gather up all my people, move them into a giant house and tell them they’re never allowed to leave me. (Of course in this fantasy, the house is a mansion with two pools, a live-in chef, a sauna and a gym so how could they possibly want to leave?)

Whitney is leaving Ohio for Charleston, South Carolina. With her goes her wonderful husband Tim and their adorable pooch Sadie. I met Whitney in college when she pledged the sorority I was in. We both ended up quitting the sorority when we realized we preferred the company of a few to the company of two dozen, gossipy, petty girls.

I’ve never been good with change. I’m stubborn and stuck in my ways. It takes me time to process new things. But regardless of my desire to kidnap all my friends, I’m incredibly happy for and proud of Whitney and Tim. They’re moving to Charleston to open their own food truck–something I could never imagine. I love their spontaneity (even if it takes them away from me). I’ve always been a big proponent of following your dreams. I was luck enough to find my dream job, and I’m so happy that they get to follow theirs.

I’ve been with Whitney through college, post-college life and her first year of marriage. I can’t wait to see what she does next.
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A gentle reminder

katie heaney

“I just don’t know how anyone deals with their bodies. I catch myself worrying about what my arms are doing when I am walking alone, and that is just walking. Alone. So I am a basket case, generally, and picky, and have almost always had crushes on people who usually don’t have crushes on me, and it’s rare that I’m so attracted to a stranger that I could imagine having sex with him at the exact moment. And even when that has been true, I am only able to talk about thinking about it, from a safe distance. I have no idea what I’d actually do about it. But generally speaking, I’d like to date someone, at least a little, first. Add all this to my somewhat looming height, an unintentional bracing hostility toward people I don’t know well, and an end to the era in my life when I might have felt the need to do something the first time to get it over with, and it’s not hard to end up a twenty-five-year-old who hasn’t had sex.”

Thank you, Katie Heaney, for reminding me that no matter how alone and awkward I feel, I am indeed not alone, that there are in fact many awesome women just like me. Thanks for letting me know that timelines are bullshit, and everyone experiences things differently and at different times. Thanks for readily admitting that you often like boys who are wrong for you (even though they seem so perfect). Thanks for agreeing with me that men are the most confusing species ever. Thank you for your feminist leanings, your self-deprecating humor and your love for Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Thanks for reminding me that having two-thirds of my life figured out is pretty fucking great. The other third will come with time.

How not to suck at online dating

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Last December, I grudgingly decided to give online dating a try. (Does anyone ever happily give online dating a try?) I’ve been told I can come off a bit intimidating or disinterested to people who don’t know me, so I figured I’d have better luck meeting a potential suitor  through the internet rather than in person.

I haven’t met the man of my dreams yet, but I have come across plenty of men I want nowhere near my dreams. I thought I’d help the uninformed male masses and give them a few tips on what not to put in your online dating profile. What can I say? I’m a giver. (I’m also considering this my annual good deed, so I hope I don’t run into any old ladies who want me to help them across the street.) Keep in mind that these are all my opinions, but I have talked to several of my girlfriends about the woes of online dating, and we tend to agree on many of these–except Oxford commas; that’s 100 percent my OCD ass.

1. In your profile, don’t tell me to “swipe to the right” or “like” you. If anything it just makes me want to move past your page even quicker.

2. Stop lying about being outdoorsy. If I had a dollar for every guy I saw on OkCupid with “I love the outdoors” in his profile, well, I wouldn’t have to be on OkCupid because I would have had enough money to buy me a mail-order husband. As someone whose favorite outdoor hobby is drinking on patios, I find it hard to believe that a large percentage of men in Northeast Ohio love the outdoors that much. Have you been outside recently? It’s either 82 degrees or 35 degrees. No thank you.

3. Stop whining. I don’t care that you’ve had trouble finding love, your ex broke your heart or girls never like the nice guys. You’re wrong. We do like the nice guys. We don’t like whiners.

4. Enough with the shitty pictures. To quote my online-dating-partner-in-crime: “It’s 2014. There’s no reason you should have a low-res picture.”

5. Don’t post pictures of yourself with 12 of your closest friends. I’m not interested in comparing photos trying to figure out which one is you.

5. Don’t post pictures with a girl in them. How am I supposed to know she’s your sister? And who posts pictures with his sister in them on a dating website?

6. Don’t post pictures with children in them. Look, I get what you’re trying to do here. You’ve been told that women are suckers for men with babies. But please stop doing this. If the kid in question is yours, well that’s a whole other issue that I don’t have the emotional capabilities to deal with at this current time. If the kid in the picture isn’t yours, then you’re just some weirdo holding someone else’s baby because you think it makes you look like a more attractive mate.

7. But do post pictures with your dog in them. ‘Cause puppies, duh.

8. Learn to fucking spell. You’ve got maybe 150 words to tell me about yourself. Anything longer, and I’ve likely stopped reading. Every one of them should be spelled correctly. Misspelled words tell me you don’t give a shit, so why should I give a shit about you?

9. Oxford commas are not okay. I’m convinced there are some twisted fucks at OkCupid who get a thrill out of messing with my journalistic sensibilities by matching me with guys who specifically mention how much they love Oxford commas in their profile. Not cool, internet. Not cool.

10. Don’t start a message with “Hey sexy/beautiful/gorgeous,” and especially don’t start the first message you send to someone with any of those terms. It’s just weird and makes you sound like a total jabroni.

Six years ago

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Last Tuesday my blog turned six years old, and I decided to mark the occasion with a post about all the shit that gets my goat. Some people celebrate anniversaries with flowers, I celebrate with hate lists. (By the way I’d like to add to that list: group texts that go past six messages and every fucking pothole in Cleveland.)

As much as I love a good bitch festt, I figured I should mark my blog’s anniversary with something a bit less… hateful. When I started this blog I was 19 and a college sophomore. A lot has changed since then, and with all change comes lessons learned. Some lessons were easier than others. Some I’m still struggling with. Here’s a short list of things I’ve learned in the past six years.

1. No matter how old you get, your mother will always know when you’re upset, tired, hungry or on your period.

2. You won’t get to talk to or see some of your friends as much as you used to. It’s a tough adjustment, and it requires work to maintain friendships as you get older, but the good ones stick around.

3. Ohio isn’t so bad.

4. Boys will continue to break your heart.

5. Some trends (crop tops, high-waisted anything, gladiator sandals) will never look good on you.

6. Swimsuit shopping still sucks.

7. No matter what anyone says–even your friends who swear “they’re just trying to help”–never change who you are just to please a man.

8. A well-placed “that’s what she said” never gets old.

9. It’s important to do what you love, even if the path to it is less than smooth.

10. Get as many tattoos as you want, but be smart about it.

11. The bad news: You’ll always struggle with your weight. The good news: You’re not alone.

12. Exercising will never be something you love–although you might come close to enjoying it once in a while–but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.

13. Keep writing.

14. Keep reading.

15. You’re just not meant to be a sorority girl, and that’s totally fine.

16. Your parents were right: Student debt is a nightmare. Silently thank them for forcing strongly encouraging you to pick the college that offered you the most financial aid, therefore graduating debt-free.

17. Your brothers will continue to drive you crazy, but you’ll learn to get along with them more the older you get.

18. Some bands you never outgrow.

19. It’s okay to mess up. (Keep telling yourself this.)

20. Take care of yourself first.

13 things I can’t even handle

For a fleeting minute today, I considered going for a run outside. However, that feeling was quickly replaced with a need to put on sweatpants, pour a glass of wine and update my blog. After all, This Is Fact Not Fiction is six(!) years old today. This momentous occasion calls for a celebration–or at least a much-needed blog post.

Not only is today my little ole blog’s sixth anniversary, but it’s also the day I found my future blogging bff, Meg Lagos (Or is it Meg Lake? Please inform me.) I stumbled across Meg after her latest article for Elite Daily showed up on my Facebook news feed. After reading the article, Me, Myself And… Holy Crap, I’m Still Single, and nodding along the whole time, I quickly found her blog, and from there it was a hop, skip and a jump to major blog crushing. (I’m seriously impressed by any blogger whose content doesn’t depend on cute kids, boyfriend jeans or new cupcake recipes and is still able to write every day.) I immediately subscribed to her blog and followed her on Twitter and Instagram. At this point I’m probably two steps away from Lloyd Dobler-ing her and holding a boombox up outside her window. 

She recently posted a list titled “24 Things I Irrationally Hate.” Seeing as I also strongly dislike many things, I decided to make my own hate list. (That sounds terrible, doesn’t it?) I tend to get stuck in ruts where my brain freezes over and I can’t think of anything worth blogging about. It’s always nice to find a blogger you like and who can inspire you to stop playing Candy Crush and get behind your computer keyboard. So without further ado….

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13 Things I Can’t Even Handle

  1. People in the you-scan line at Giant Eagle who start scanning their items before I’ve finished bagging mine. #rude
  2. Picky eaters. Look, I get that people have food(s) they dislike–mushrooms, stay the fuck away from me–but people who refuse to  try new foods make me want to pull my eyeballs out, cook them in olive oil and feed them to said picky eaters.
  3. People who heckle opening bands. Hey asshole, every band was an opening band at one point. Stop being a dick.
  4. Dust bunnies. Thank goodness I live alone, because if anyone ever saw me crawling around on my hardwood floors scooping up bits of dust, they’d probably have me committed.
  5. Askew hangers. UGH I CAN’T EVEN. Seriously, why can’t hangers just hold your pants and hang perfectly still? You’re only job is to hang! It’s like they’re just mocking my OCD.
  6. Oxford commas. Real talk: Any guy on OkCupid who claims to love Oxford commas is a guy I will not be messaging.
  7. Emotionally stable, happy people in relationships who want to give their single friends dating advice because “they’re just trying to help.”
  8. Expensive workout clothes. Oh, you’re right Athleta, it makes total sense to charge $69 for workout tights–not even pants, mind you.
  9. “First ever.” Every time someone uses this phrase, a baby angel dies. Stop fucking doing it, you baby angel murderer.
  10. Drivers who don’t use their turn signals.
  11. 99 percent of CNN’s coverage these days.
  12. People who want to most outside of the invisible–BUT CLEARLY STATED–mosh zone.
  13. Cotton candy vodka.

Thanks for the inspiration, Meg. Remember: Blogging BFFs who hate together stay together. Okay, I’ll stop now.

‘Girls’ just need to grow up

HBO With The Cinema Society Host The New York Premiere Of HBO's "Girls"

I’ve been watching HBO’s Girls since it debuted in 2012. I’ve defended it against cries that it was “too white,” I’ve discussed Lena Dunham’s take on my generation with my best friend, and I’ve gladly proclaimed on several occasions that Marnie is my spirit animal.

But I’m a bit fed up with these girls–or should I say women, because that’s what they are: Three women (I’m not counting Shoshanna who’s still in college) who are stuck in this post-college abyss where money doesn’t matter, finding a job isn’t important and there’s plenty of time to take random road trips upstate and frolic around a cemetery with your creepy neighbor and your boyfriend’s crazy sister. Isn’t life great?

Look, I get it. I understand that Lena Dunham created Girls with her life experiences in mind, not mine. But even Lena Dunham had to grow up. I’m just wondering if the characters she created ever will. In past seasons, I laughed at their shenanigans, but now I find myself rolling my eyes–or worse–cringing whenever Hannah, Marnie (my beloved Marnie!) or Jessea do something that makes older people look at my generation and go, “See? You’re all entitled brats.” On the surface, there appears to be some “lesson” in each episode (Jessea is out of rehab; Marnie realizes she’s a stuck-up phony), but it’s all a facade: a lesson implies that something was learned by someone. Rarely do these women learn anything when a flaw in their character is revealed. Instead, they joke about it then cry/complain about it then ignore it. It was cute the first season, but three seasons in, it’s less cute and more annoying.

Hannah (played by Lena Dunham) turned 25 in a recent episode, making her my age. And yet, I look at Hannah’s life and see very few similarities to my own. Even the thing that made me fall in love with Girls in the first place–the friendship the four main characters shared–seems to have faded away. Do these women even like each other anymore? When they are together, they’re not even friends, but rather people talking at (and not listening to) each other. The women of Girls haven’t grown up, but they appear to have outgrown each other.

Maybe it’s not that the girls (because let’s face it, that’s how they act 99 percent of the time) of Girls haven’t grown up, but that I have. It took me a few years to get here–here being adulthood where I have a job I love, a home I own and bills to pay–but I’m here now. And it feels pretty great. Now when I watch Girls, I get a slight twinge that maybe I’m the one doing it wrong. Am I missing out on something by not living the twenty-something life portrayed by Hannah and Co.? Should I have remained “lost” a bit longer? But then I remember that I wasn’t ever really lost. Unlike GirlsI always knew what I wanted. Hannah, Marnie, Jessea and Shoshanna haven’t figured it out yet. I just hope they do–and soon.