Thursday, March 31, 2005

A contagion of irritability

Apparently irritability is contagious.

Yesterday I started my day in quite a good mood. I managed to wake up reasonably early, went to the gym, tied up some random loose ends and got to school in time for a lunchtime meeting. To top it off, the weather was absolutely gorgeous and it felt, legitimately, like spring. I walked out of the meeting momentarily to heat up my coffee. As I walked toward the microwave, I bumped into a friend, who shall remain nameless so as to protect the innocent.

I smiled and teased her for being late.

"Where the fuck IS everyone?" she demanded.

Room I, I told her.

"I'm SO pissed off," she muttered as she headed toward the room in question.

I hoped it wasn't me!

I later talked to her and found out, to my relief, it was not me: rather, it was a combination of unfortunate events that conspired to make her day less than ideal. Fortunately, the effects were quite temporary and her mood was much better, though she admitted to still being a bit irritable. I understand this -- I myself have numerous times felt uncharitable toward the world for no particular reason. It happens to the best of us.

I was still in a good mood. Later, I was chatting with a couple of classmates as I gathered my things after class. I don't remember how, but we had gotten onto the subject of relationships. Both of these friends are married, and have been in serious long-term relationships for longer than I have been driving. I, of course, am *quite* single and show no signs of changing my status in the near future. These two friends were of the opinion that finding a decent boyfriend is a simple task -- the clear implication being that if I don't have one, the only one to blame for this is myself. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm quite picky (which I think is reasonable. I'm quite a catch, if I do say so myself) and that this necessarily limits my prospects. I accept this. And I only occassionally rail against the anti-feminist injustice of the negative relationship between desirability and career success for women. But it *really* gets my goat when people who haven't had to deal with the cesspool that is the dating world for a good half a lifetime consider themselves authorities on its intricacies. Particularly when this unjustifiable air of understanding accompanies an implicit disdain for my own romantic proclivities. I'm very happy for my friends that they've found wonderful, loving husbands. I haven't, and not, thank you very much, for lack of trying. So kindly lay off. The worst part was that I thought of the perfect comeback about fifteen seconds after our conversation ended. Dammit.

So at this point my irritation level was slightly above normal. But I would still say I was having a good day. (In case they're reading this, by the way, I do love my two married friends very much, temporary irritation notwithstanding).

I stayed at school a bit late because of an evening class. It ended early, actually, but I had another engagement close to school later in the evening, so I stayed late and studied. When I decided to walk out to my car, I found my school enmeshed in an all-out thunder-and-hailstorm. While my car rested a mere twenty-five feet from the building, I had no umbrella. And it was raining HARD. And showed no signs of letting up. So after staring at the unpleasant weather for a good ten minutes, I pulled my coat up over my head and made a run for it. I should note here that I was wearing a skirt, pantyhose and pumps (thankfully not heels). There's almost nothing more uncomfortable than wet pantyhose. And I learned that my coat, when rained upon, smells like a wet dog.

This raised my irritation level a bit more.

I got to my evening function mostly on time. Unfortunately, the function itself didn't begin on time. Being actively involved in the group hosting this function, I had a strong interest in it proceeding well. I'm one of those people who hates tardiness. Really hates it. But start late it did. I had a couple of glasses of wine. This usually calms me down and makes me happy and nice. It didn't do this tonight. I found myself growing progressively dour throughout the evening. One of my closest friends came to chat with me but I wasn't in a particularly chatty mood, as evidenced by the fact that I was saying virtually nothing in return. And yet she kept talking. And for some reason, this started to get on my nerves. And then another person was talking behind us. He was kind of whispering, but it was a loud whisper. I walked to the other side of the room and I could still hear him. I found this highly irritating. I finally sat down and tried to pay attention to the person who was speaking. And then I noticed that I was cold. In fact, it was quite cold in the room. In spite of the fact that The Great Flood was proceeding outside the building, some insane person had decided to turn on all the air conditioning window units. Don't ask me why the hell why. I suppose 20 degrees Farenheit might be considered "balmy" to some. And by "some" I mean penguins. But there were no penguins there. At least none that I saw. So I was mystified *and* irritated.

Finally, the event was over and I drove home. I had planned to finish an imminently due paper that evening but, as all the heat had been sapped from my body at the evening's festivities, I had no energy. So I went to bed. And here I am today, with no energy, not having made it to the gym this morning, with unpacked bags to pack for a weekend trip, and still an entire paper to write.

Let this be a warning to you. Avoid irritated people at all costs! As much as you may love the innocently afflicted person, trust me, it's for your own good. Especially don't let them cough on you. I mean, that's just gross.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Maximum Slackitude!!

So this is it. The last few months of law school. My last gasp of freedom -- or some semblance thereof (the older you get, the more a few hours on Friday afternoon in which "all" you have to do is write a 20-page paper seems like "freedom") -- before moving on to the real world, where I have to live like a legitimate grown-up.


Classes started back today. I have an AWESOME class schedule this term. My weekends begin Thursday at 11:00 AM. I have no shame in admitting this because: 1) my blog is quasi-anonymous, 2) I've been bragging about it to all my friends anyway, so there's not much more harm I can do, and 3) anyone who would legitimately hate me for this is right now too far away to throw anything at me. I have only three and a half classes (I say "a half" because I have one class that meets for two two-hour sessions total in the next two months). Once I finish writing my last couple of papers (getting work done is surprisingly challenging when there's barely any left to do), I will have LOT of free time. A LOT. What does this mean? Let me demonstrate in a mathematical formula which I've concocted by trying to remember some of that math-type stuff I learned in, oh, high school-ish:

f(x) = {free time/work due, available credit/months until salary*yearly salary, warmer weather*clothes I haven't worn since I lived in California, fear of imminent grown-up-ness}
x = Maximum Slackitude

So there you have it. As a matter of sheer mathematical logic, it's a virtual requirement that I enjoy this quarter by doing what 3Ls do best: drinking and pretending I don't have work to do. I hereby dub this term the Term of Maximum Slackitude. I also hereby declare "slackitude" to be a word.

Now if you'll pardon me, Minesweeper beckons.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

The price of beauty

A few months ago, I was talking to a group of guys who were complaining about how men are expected to pay for dates. I pointed out that, not only is that no longer necessarily the case, but women invest probably just as much in the date as they do -- makeup, good hair and clothes, for instance, don't come cheap.

Case in point: yesterday I went to the salon to get my hair done. I figure I may as well look good for my first day back at school. I got highlights and a trim. Total bill: $155 before tip (100 for the highlights, 55 for the cut). In my mind, this was utterly reasonable. I'm used to paying a lot of money to keep my hair looking fabulous, as probably most women are. My highlight specialist suggested that while I was waiting for the other hairdresser (the one who did my cut -- he was running behind so I had some time between the highlights and the cut) I get my makeup done. I was going out that night and figured, why not. It was actually kind of fun, and the lady who did my makeup was gushy and gave me lots of compliments. I love it when they do that.

So when the woman behind the counter told me my total was $155, I checked to make sure she had added the makeup, which I hadn't scheduled when I made my appointment. She went to check with the makeup lady about what she had done so she knew which service to charge me for. She came back to the counter and announced my new total: $205. That's right. My foundation, eye makeup, blush and lip gloss cost fifty bucks. FIFTY BUCKS! I don't mind paying to be pampered, but that seems like a lot of money to me for a fifteen-minute makeup application. I've paid half that for manicures that take 45 minutes. I mean, I looked good, but not that good.

So, gentlemen, the next time you don't understand why your girlfriend/wife/sister/female buddy flips out if you don't notice her new haircut, don't roll your eyes and think to yourself that women are crazy. We're not crazy -- we're proud investors. Think of it this way: if you bought an expensive car, you would damn sure expect people to take notice. Hair is our car. So, please, at least pretend to care once in a while.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Life is like a Fed Jur hypo

Preemptive apologies to anyone bored by nerdy law-type analysis.

I'm sure everyone's heard about the recent developments in the Terri Schiavo case. Congress has passed a bill, and President Bush has signed it into law, conferring jurisdiction upon a federal court in Florida to hear a suit brought by Mrs. Schiavo's parents seeking to have her feeding tubes reinserted. A federal judge in Florida will hear the case in just a few hours.

This sounds like one of those crazy law school hypotheticals, the kind that make law students feel really smart discussing in class, but that often have very little practical application. Here, the hypothetical would likely follow from a discussion about the outer limits of Congress' power to confer federal jurisdiction on the courts. If you've had a course in federal jurisdiction (or for some masochistic reason decided to educate yourself on some of the finer points of the law in this area), then you know that Congress' power to grant jurisdiction comes from Article III of the U.S. Constitution. The statute perhaps most commonly invoked when a party seeks a federal forum is 28 U.S.C. sec. 1331. Here's the interesting thing: Article III and 1331 use identical language to signify over which sorts of cases federal courts may have jurisdiction, but they're interpreted to mean different things. In short, the Supreme Court has held that Article III grants Congress power to confer much broader jurisdiction than it apparently has conferred. Much discussion over this incongruency in the Court's jurisprudence took place in my recent class.

Strictly speaking, yesterday's statute is probably constitutional. Since it applies to a federal issue that could conceivably be raised, it falls within the Court's test for statutory constitutionality. It's an open question, however, how comfortable the Court is with allowing Congress to pass a statute providing for federal intervention in what is, essentially, entirely a state issue. In our discussions about Article III vs. 1331, one possible explanation we thought of for the Court's different treatment of the identical language was that, when it comes down to an actual statutory grant of federal jurisdiction, the Court may favor a more determinate dividing line between cases federal courts can hear and those they can't. Perhaps the Court is comfortable saying, conceptually we could allow virtually any case to be heard, but when it comes down to actually granting jurisdiction we don't want parties appealing to so broad and nebulous a principle. On the other hand, perhaps the Court simply wants a more clear statement of intent from Congress -- if Congress clearly intended for a certain case to be heard by federal courts, and it falls within the reach of Article III, it's a permissible grant of jurisdiction.

The Schiavo case has made me think about federal jurisdiction and whether Congress' recent actions are constitutional (to say nothing of their general desirability). The Supreme Court has already once passed on this case, which indicates it would prefer not to get involved. Congress, however, has all but forced the Court to get involved. If the case is appealed, as it almost certainly will be, the Supreme Court will most likely be faced with a petition to hear the case. The Supreme Court could simply decline to hear the case, effectively allowing a circuit court to have the final word on the constitutionality of the statute (and, the bill's stated intent notwithstanding, this will have the effect of setting a powerful precedent for future congressional actions). Or the Supreme Court could hear the case and be faced with making a decision that will have powerful implications for the extent to which Congress may take the final determination of what are essentially state concerns away from the states. It's hard to say what the Court will do -- the statute is very likely constitutional under existing Supreme Court precedent, and yet it cuts against the Court's clear reluctance to allow federal jurisdiction over issues that, at their core, have very little to do with the Constitution and laws of the United States.

And now I'm wondering if I could send my professor the url for this post and get extra credit... hmmm...

Friday, March 18, 2005

Scary Movies

I'm a total wuss when it comes to scary movies.

First off, I can't watch them alone. Just can't. I once watched some old horror flick on my own in my apartment and then spent a horrified night jumping at every creak or bump. The hourly police sirens out my window (nothing like living in the city!) were almost a relief, forcing me back to reality as they did. Which has to do with the second problem. It's not your run-of-the-mill slasher flick that really gets to me. Sure, they're good for cheap thrills and jumpy moments, but the ones that stick with me, depriving me of sleep and sometimes sanity, are the crazy, out-there, this-would-never-ever-happen scary movies. Like random zombie flicks or weird supernatural thrillers.

Case in point: The Ring. I couldn't make myself see this one in the theaters. I know myself too well. Knowing the effect they have on me, I was never much of a fan of scary movies. So one time on a visit home, my younger brother had me watch it (and made certain, of course, to leave the room the second it was over, leaving all the lights out and the TV off and me, all alone to clean up the room. In the dark. With that damn TV threatening to turn on any minute so that creepy little girl could crawl through it and scare me to death). People laugh when I tell them how much that movie scared me. I couldn't fall asleep without turning on the TV for at least a week. It gave me nightmares. Another great example comes, embarrassingly enough, from a video game. Anyone familiar with the Silent Hill game series knows what I'm talking about. I played the fourth game, The Room, on my sister's Playstation (as a random note, just in case anyone is noticing a pattern here -- really, I do have time for movies and games outside of vacation. My brother and sister just tend to make me indulge more often. Which is a good thing). Interestinly enough, the game is being made into a movie. In case you're not familiar with the game series, it's scary. There are creepy monsters and psychological twists. I made my sister play the really frightening parts for me. Look, I just can't handle scary media. Laugh if you must. At least I admit to it.

So today. Stupidly, I agreed to see The Ring Two with my brother and sister. It's not as scary as the first one, but it's still pretty bad. Plenty of long, tense screen pans and close-up shots. And of course that terrorizing whistle noise from the first movie. I swear to God the elevator in my building's garage makes the exact. same. noise. Anyway, I saw the movie. And it was scary. And yet... I'm sitting in my room, late at night, alone, and... I think I'm okay. Like, I might actually make it through the night without any unpleasant dreams. I don't want to jump the gun here, of course. But I think I might actually not be struck to the bone with terror. As additional evidence, last night I watched the 1999 remake of The House on Haunted Hill (another one of those supernatural/sci-fi crazy thriller horrors) and slept just fine.

I'm not sure what's going on here. Ever since I saw part of The Boogeyman as a six-year-old I've dreaded any hint of something that might invade my sleep with irrational fear. Is this the dawn of a new era of fearlessness? Or is my brain too burnt out from exams to bother wasting energy on being scared about some nutty movie? I suppose only time will tell. But at least tonight, I will sleep, in spite of myself.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

It's still technically St. Patrick's Day on my side of the International Date Line. So here's a cheesy game for those of you up late looking for some greenish fun to kill time until the hangover kicks in.

And while you're at it, here's a leprechaun for you to color.


Sunday, March 13, 2005

There are some things money can't buy

I had my last exam of the term today.

(Yes, you heard me right. A Sunday morning exam).

Last of four exams. UGH. I didn't really even study for this one. I was too worn out (thank goodness it was equal protection -- anyone who reads the news could've taken this test and probably passed).

This afternoon I cleaned my apartment. I haven't cleaned it in [too embarrassed to put how long it's actually been since I cleaned my apartment]. Wow. I didn't realize how much space 641 square feet actually is. DAMN. And it SMELLS nice.

Tonight I had really good sushi with a friend, her treat. Tomorrow I fly home for a week and a half. Right now, life is good. Really good.

It's all about the little things.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The honor system

For all the bitching I do about my school, it's actually pretty cool in a lot of ways. One of the ways in which it's cool is that it's, in general, very trusting of its students.

Take exams for example. A lot of schools have exam software you have to install on your computer so that when you're taking exams you're quarantined from things you're not supposed to access (e.g., the internet and instant messenger). My school doesn't. You generally aren't supposed to access the internet during exams, and you're not supposed to talk to people, but they technically have no way of checking up on you (unless they asked the proctors to walk up and down the aisles looking at people's computer screens, which they don't). And I think most, if not all, students, are actually good about following these rules.

Or the law school's cafeteria. The food isn't so great, but it's the kind of place where you can walk in and if you don't have enough money for your coffee/etc., promise to come back with it later. That's nice to have when you need to grab a quick snack between classes.

I don't think it's just the law school, either. The other day I was studying with some friends in a coffeehouse patronized primarily by undergrad students. A girl came up to our table and asked if we would watch her things while she went to get some food. We agreed, and one of my friends mused: "Do we look trustworthy?"

Maybe it's just the midwestern atmosphere. Or maybe it's something about school -- either the idea that we're all students creates a kind of camaraderie, or enough people have rich parents to replace their stolen things that vigilance isn't as crucial. But whatever it is, I kinda like it.

Maybe the world isn't such a nasty place, after all.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Planet of the Chimps

Why bother outlining when there are stories like this to read about?

I always thought the idea of a pet monkey was fun. They look so cute and cuddly in the zoo, and on Friends, Ross' pet monkey Marcell (sp?) seemed nice. But apparently chimps are mean little bastards. Not to criticize a grieving person, but I don't get the whole trying-to-reason-with-deranged-primates thing. But, hey, I'm anthropocentric (not to be confused with androcentric).

In light of this, exams don't seem so awful.

One down, three to go

Ahhh, exam time.

My classmates and I shuffle through the God-forsaken halls like zombies, hopped up on more caffeine and nicotine than ought to be legally available. Eyes glazed over, we accept the fact that indecipherable grunts and lazily gaping jaws pass for communication among normally talkative and intelligent people. In a scene invoking a voracious class-name-dropping orgy of a hazing ritual, questioning eyes are met with single phrases, the battle scars of the world-weary: "Immigration law." "Bankruptcy." "Criminal procedure."

My battle scar du jour is Federal Jurisdiction, purportedly the most difficult class in law school. This common denomination is likely correct: I realized after the exam that, in spite of the fact that tomorrow I face an eight-hour take-home, and Saturday I face a class for which I have neither read the assignments nor taken notes, this was the exam I was dreading the most. Four exams in the space of five days is a frightening enough prospect in and of itself, but this, I now realize, was what was really getting to me.

I think I did alright. I got a little behind in the first part of the exam, likely because I walked into the exam halfway in a daze, still needing to review a good third of the course before I felt fully prepared, but overall I think I did... not half bad.

And in these precious few hours between exams, that makes me invincible. Best enjoy it while it lasts.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

I must've woken up on the wrong side of the bed...

Thug Bear
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Monday, March 07, 2005

Black-letter law snobs

One notorious legend of law school is that law professors don't teach black-letter law, but you're expected to know black-letter law on the exam. "Black-letter" law means pretty much what it sounds like: it's strictly, simply, what the law is. This isn't to say it's one particular theory of statutory interpretation, but rather simply whatever it's generally agreed upon that the law is for some particular subject of the law's purview. Black-letter law is what you can expect to be subjected to in ninety-nine percent of cases, and it's what the bar exam tests.

As to what law professors teach, law students and law students-to-be are terrorized by the commonly prevailing myth that law professors teach something other than what they test. That is to say, they teach their own theories or notions of what the law ought to be/could be, etc., but don't spend much time telling what the law actually says or does. Therefore, students who have kept up fairly well with the reading and taken good notes in class walk, unsuspecting, into the exam to find -- horrors! -- that they're entirely unprepared for what the exam actually tests.

This isn't a fair myth. First, an observation on law professors in general: you don't get to a point in your life where you're entrusted with the education of the next generation of attorneys without it going to your head a little bit. Law professors think they're smart (in most cases, rightly so) and like to hear themselves talk. They also like to hear other people talk like them, because this confirms to them the wisdom of their own observations. What they particularly like to hear is a challenge to their thoughts, followed up by a tidy counterargument that ties the argument together in a way where their opinions are still the prevailing ones. How this translates into exams is, it's probably appropriate to reference just as much black letter law as the professor has herself referenced in class, and then get on to arguing why her opinion is right. Even if you've done a terrible job of studying, she can't help but notice the brilliance of your pointed arguments.

The second, and more serious, observation: law professors, at least the ones I've had, actually do teach what they test on the exam. They teach some varying degree of black-letter law, but it's definitely fair to say that what they don't go over in class, or at least note as important, won't factor heavily into the exam. In fact, one of my favorite professors regularly tells the class before an exam that if we didn't spend much time in class on it, it won't be very important on the exam.

While it is fair to say that some professors are more interested than others in teaching black-letter law -- and some subjects, such as civil procedure and evidence, lend themselves to a more black-letter law-heavy class -- the fact is, law school just isn't going to teach you what you need to know on the bar exam, so it's best to simply worry about the exams, which generally aren't so attenuated from the actual content of the class. Still, some students insist on criticizing professors who are less concerned about delving into the minute details of the black-letter law. For instance, another one of my favorite professors is often critized for not teaching enough black-letter law, but instead directing his class to more theoretical and abstract legal problems. Having majored in philosophy and political science in college, I personally like this approach, but the students who have it drilled into them that the only thing that matters is the black-letter law seem almost to enjoy turning up their noses at professors like this one. This professor is almost certainly aware of this trend among the student body, and so the last day of class he came into the room and wrote a few things on the board before beginning the class:

"Okay, case A held B. Case C held D. Case E held F. Case G held H. Now onto the interesting stuff."

Good thing I got my friend's notes. That went really fast.

I suppose I should stop procrastinating and get back to outlining Criminal Procedure now.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Singing Spongmonkeys

Some of you might have wondered what in the hell Quizno's was thinking about a year or so ago when it unleashed its commercials featuring creepy-looking, guitar-playing, singing gerbil-things touting its subs. I can't answer that, but I can give you a link to the original song.

We like the moon! Posted by Hello


Law-Wench Seeks Pirate for Intellectual Companionship, Make-Out Sessions

Okay, I'll admit it. I'd like to have a boyfriend.

I like to think I'm pretty good at flirting, and that I'm reasonably approachable, and I go out plenty -- but I've only dated a handful of guys over the last year or so, and nothing's come of it. So I bit the bullet and tried the online dating thing.

I can't say I've had much success. The first website I signed up for was, which is kind of like the Starbucks of the online dating world. Match is decent, I guess, but their layout makes me think of a used car salesman. They have articles offering advice about dating and sharing fairy-tale stories of successful couples. Of course, the articles tend to be weighted toward the online dating world, which makes a degree of sense -- they're running an online dating service, and the people reading their articles are likely to be at least marginally interested in online dating. But there's something about their articles that makes me nervous about online dating (like this article about checking up on your sweetie). Apparently the same rules don't apply to online dating that apply to plain, old-fashioned dating. That makes me feel a little funny. It's strange enough trying to meet Prince Charming through the internet -- I don't need to be reminded how very different this makes me from more traditional daters.

I was determined, though, not to let the articles sidetrack me from my mission. If I was going to be single, it wouldn't be for failure to try new things. So I set up an online profile and posted a few pictures of myself that I thought were halfway decent. I had responses almost instantly. It was thrilling and flattering, but my initial excitement was soon dampened as I looked over the profiles of the men who expressed interest in me. Many didn't have pictures, and -- hey, I'm not shallow, but if I'm putting myself out there I don't see why anyone else can't. (And why wouldn't you put up a photo? Are you ashamed of your looks? Okay, maybe I am a little shallow.) The other problem was that some of them were very clearly not what I was looking for. The most egregious violation of my preferences was age -- I had men two and a half times my age contacting me! I have, numerous times, heard these common complaints from other veterans of the online dating world. I think the thing that bothered me the most, though, was the egregious violations of traditionally-accepted rules of spelling and grammar (not to mention common courtesy). The profile of one guy who contacted me displayed an alarming lack of punctuation:

"i like too play pool, go to movies long walks bike ride dress up for romantic dinner but mostly sweep my girl of her feet with my charming and warm smile ther after make her melt with my caring touch."

I also like the internal monologue:

"Im not really sure why im doing this but it worth a shot huh? This internet hook up stuff is very awkward to me and it makes me feel weird about dating. Who would of thought this is where i would look?"

But I think this one was my favorite:


The next site I tried, I found a link to from, which is now SparkLife. TheSpark was this funky upstart website with random quizzes and tests that my friends and I would take (it had a score-sharing system that would send emails to your friends when you took a test; the emails had subjects like "LawFairy is totally gay!"). The creators of TheSpark started an online dating website, The key feature of this website is that it is free. It also has a lot of fun random tests and quizzes, just like TheSpark did. Because of that, it's not as serious a dating service as, but, hey, I figured, it's worth a shot.

OkCupid users tend to be on the younger side, so fortunately I didn't have any grandfathers emailing me. Unfortunately, some of the users are correspondingly less mature:

"hi im [] how are u im fine so wot u on here for"

They can also be less tolerant:

"Hello, I wrote you a while back, and I see you never responded to me. I was just wondering if you would reconsider. I think we might have some things in common. I can see if we talked, and you saw there was nothing there. But what is the harm in chatting a little? ...Hope you'll keep an open mind and that we can talk a little."

The last site I tried was American Singles. Not only was this the most expensive dating service I tried, it was also the most likely to subject me to lecherous come-ons. Thanks to their instant messaging program, I had the joy of talking to several late-night web surfers looking for cybersex. And they never even bought me dinner.

Now that I've spent a good hour of my exam-studying time composing this post, I'm worried that spam engines will pick up on the meta-tags in my post. Oh well, traffic is traffic, I guess.


Thursday, March 03, 2005

For all you Kip Dynamite fans out there

I've found a link to an mp3 of Kip's song Always and Forever, from the fabulous movie Napoleon Dynamite. I stumbled across this as I was searching for songs to put on a compilation cd I'm making for my mom. She'll love this.

And since I'm on the subject, I'm very disappointed by this seemingly legit description of a liger. What about the magical powers??


Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Sticking up for the little girls

Skinny girls have fat days too. Okay?

It had to be said.

(Quick note re my neglect of this blog: My deepest apologies to my two or three readers who have been eagerly awaiting a new post, an update, anything! I don't really have a good excuse. I'll blame some combination of stress, borderline alcoholism, and general laziness. I appreciate you -- please don't leave!)

So what brings this on is a conversation I had today with a couple of friends. Quick background: I've been a little on the chunky side in my day. I'm a late bloomer and a food lover, and I now bear my fair share of cellulite to show for it. Last year I ended up losing a good 30-35 pounds in a pretty short period of time and, magically, it never came back. Which has been awesome. Not only do I feel good about my body, but I fit into my skinny clothes!*

* Translation for those of the heterosexual male persuasion: every woman has a good portion of her closet filled with "skinny clothes." Skinny clothes fall into one of two categories: 1) clothes you wore when you were skinnier than you are now; 2) clothes you bought two sizes too small at the start of your last diet, resolving to eventually shrink into them. The interesting thing about skinny clothes is, usually by the time you fit into them, if you ever manage to, they're hopelessly out of fashion, even ugly. This doesn't matter. They are skinny clothes and are therefore a victory, worth showing off to the world. If you see a woman walking down the street, looking happy as a clam, wearing high-waisted shorts and a tie-dyed halter, don't judge her. Chances are she's been eyeing those clothes for well over a decade. Let her have her moment. Last fun fact about skinny clothes: every girl, even the retardedly skinny tall blonde who lives down the hall, has skinny clothes. Since I fit into my old skinny clothes, I now have new skinny clothes. Because what would we women do if we couldn't obsess over our bodies? Run the world or something, I guess.

Back to the story. I was talking today to two of my friends, and one of them mentioned that she has a dress she's hoping to fit into by May. Trying to be a generally empathetic person, as I think myself to be, I said, completely innocently, "I know what you mean! I have a bunch of clothes like that -- if I can ever fit into them, I'll be totally happy." My friend gave me a look that would chill the Tropic of Cancer.

"Don't you Ever. Say That."

My other friend agreed: "I stopped listening. I just toned her out."

"So did I," countered my first friend, "from the BLINDING RAGE."

Embarrassed and red, I covered my face in my hands and tried to apologize. "I didn't mean anything by it!" Honestly, I was just trying to sympathize! I'll even admit that I'm crazy to have these clothes!

So I suppose there's a lesson here for skinny girls: if your friend weighs two pounds more than you, you are The Skinny One. Deny it at your peril.

I'd like to think there's also a lesson, though, or at least a friendly admonition -- a plea, perhaps? --, to be made to girls who, for one reason or another, don't happen to be, at that moment, The Skinny One: thanks to social conditioning, and perhaps a touch of inherent obsessive perfectionism, most women will always be unhappy with their bodies, even if no one else sees the imperfections. Sometimes The Skinny One needs to complain, too. That doesn't make her evil. It makes her human.

Anyway, we can all snort derisively at Lara Flynn Boyle. Some days, that has to be enough.