Thought Catalog


20 Sex Tips We All Wish We Were Taught In High School

Posted: 28 Aug 2015 07:57 AM PDT

 ann_khandazhapova
ann_khandazhapova

So you're having sex now. That's awesome! I'm proud of you. Sex is pretty fun and a good way to spend 30 minutes. Plus, if you've read my oeuvre, you know I like it … a lot.

However, sex is also a really complicated practice, especially if you're relatively new to it. You're figuring out what feels good to you and trying to figure out what your partner wants, too. Plus, it's easy to get wrapped up in all those ridiculous sex tips in "Cosmo." Trust me, I read tons of them when I was first having sex at 17 and thought, "THAT'S what I'm supposed to do?!?" I'm here to tell you that you don't need to put a scrunchie on a dick or fuck like acrobats in a swimming pool. Swimming pool sex sucks, actually.

It's best to start slow and simple. The key to newbie sex is learning what you like and learning how to express that to another person. You'll get the hang of it, I promise. In the meantime, let me give you a few tips that I use even today, 20+ partners later. XO.

1. Take one of his fingers into your mouth and suck gently on it. Slide it in and out. For some reason, this makes dudes freak out.

2. You can grab his dick harder than you think. I promise. They'll like it.

3. Want to move your makeout session to something more? Lick his earlobe slowly and moan quietly into his ear. Whisper his name. Bite it just a little. Instant boner.

4. Watch each other masturbate. You'll get turned on watching and you'll learn what the other person likes, straight from the source.

5. Even if you're not enjoying it as much as he is, pretending to be into a blowjob (or legit being into it!) is really hot for a guy. Moan a little – the vibration really does feel good for him. "Cosmo" wasn't wrong there.

6. Make eye contact. Dudes love eye contact. Do it while you're blowing him or riding him. Turn your head to look at him when you're riding him backwards.

7. Play with his balls. Cup them. Tug them a little. Suck on him.

8. Don't do anything you're not comfortable with. Sex is supposed to be fun, so do it with someone you trust and don't put yourself in a situation you're not OK with. If he wants to do something you're not into, just tell him.

9. Use lots of lube. Even if you're wet and ready to go, a little extra lube makes everything so much better. You can buy it (I use Astroglide) or just use your own spit. Trust me on this one.

10. Tell your partner what you want. If something doesn't feel all that great, give them tips to make it better. Direct them.

11. Ask your partner what they want, too. Communication is key to having rad sex.

12. Try a twist on the simple things. You don't have to go crazy and contort yourselves when you're having sex. Sometimes just adjusting yourself a little bit – like lifting your legs up in the air during missionary, or squeezing your Kegel muscles during girl-on-top – can dramatically change the way things feel.

13. SQUEEZE THOSE KEGEL MUSCLES. I love moving up and down really slowly, squeezing along the way. Dudes go crazy for it. They beg me to do "that thing."

14. Don't be afraid to laugh. Sex is kind of ridiculous when you really think about it. Don't take it so seriously.

15. Have a favorite vibrator? Bring it to bed. If your dude feels threatened, he'll get over it when he sees how much it can enhance your sex life.

16. Talk dirty. You don't need to be super-explicit and X-rated, but even just saying something like, "Mmmm … that feels good" can work wonders. Praising your partner when they do something you like just compels them to do it more often!

17. Don't forget the power of touch. Sometimes just touching another person, and feeling them touch you, feels better than sex. Lying in bed with a dude while he gently strokes my skin is one of my favorite things.

18. Conversely, don't be afraid to get a little rough. Drag your fingernails down his back while he's inside you. Nip at his neck and his ears. Pull his hair a little bit. It adds an extra excitement to your fooling around sessions and can sometimes lead you to a new sexual discovery; some people love rough sex and others just don't. You'll never know til you try.

19. Talk to your friends. If your friends are sexually active, discussing what's happening in their relationships versus yours can be very helpful. It's like "Sex and the City." Chatting about what's going on with your girlfriends in your sex lives is fun! And occasionally eye-opening.

20. Relax. Don't freak out about being "good in bed." That's subjective. Just let go. Breathe. Have fun. TC mark

There’s A Place In St. Louis Called ‘Zombie Road’ And You Should Never, Ever Go There

Posted: 24 Aug 2015 03:46 PM PDT

Flickr, simpleinsomnia
Flickr, simpleinsomnia

It was supposed to take people to the train tracks by the river. That's one of the only things I know for sure.

Supposedly, workers who died on the railroad would rise from their graves and wander around. Or maybe it was the pioneer who lost his wife in a poker game and blew his brains out haunting the place. Or maybe it was the mental patient who escaped an asylum only to be hit by a car and killed, leaving just his bloody hospital nightgown behind. Or maybe it was the kids in the 70s, the ones who played on the tracks until they were obliterated by a screaming train, scattering their ruined body parts for miles.

See, that's just it. No one really knows why it's called what it is or what makes the off-limits crumbling roadway so spooky, but anyone who grew up in St. Louis has heard of Zombie Road. It's one of our very own urban legends, like the guy with the hook for a hand or the mysterious call coming from inside the house, but this one's special because it's a real place and regardless of the stories people really did die around here.

The Meramec, the river the road takes you to, they call it "The Bitter Spring". They say it's the Native American word that means "River Of Death". Beside it, those train tracks have taken lives as far back as the 1950s. The teens in the 70s. A mother and child in the 90s. A couple in their early 20s who slipped on the bluff overlooking the river and fell to their doom.

At least, that's what they say.

They also say you're never supposed to go there. So —


"So what the fuck are we doing?" I demanded in a harsh whisper. We weren't even a few steps down the road before I felt it, the prickling goosebumps on the nape of my neck. The leftover instinct from our cave-dwelling ancestors that says 'something is very wrong'.

Nicky swung his flashlight back towards me in an impatient, jittery arc.

"C'mon, man, don't be a pussy. You said you'd always wanted to check this place out. You wanna back out now?"

I looked at the high, craggy hills that surrounded us. It was like the road had cut straight through the land. Trees towered overhead, bare branches reaching like grabby fingers for the blue-black sky. Whiskey had made me brave but now both the buzz and the bravery had worn off.

"Yeah, kinda."

He sighed.

"Seriously? Just, like, 15 minutes ago you were running your mouth about how this place probably wasn't even scary."

"Yeah, well now I'm here—” I waved the beam of my own flashlight around, highlighting the tangle of woods. "—and I've changed my mind. It IS scary. Let's just go back to your place and drink more and order a pizza. Doesn't pizza sound good?"

"Pussies don't deserve pizza," Nicky said grimly, and set off down Zombie Road without me.

I stood there for a moment, skin prickling with goosebumps, thinking about escaped inmates and undead railroad workers and reanimated body parts of teens from the 1970s, and for that moment I considered letting Nicky go alone. Wait in the car until his fool self decided to turn back. Then I thought about the next poker night with our buddies and how Nicky would never let me live it down, how he'd be able to brag and laugh and say that I was a pussy and he explored Zombie Road while I pissed myself in the front seat of his Mustang.

I pointed my flashlight straight ahead and jogged to catch up to him.

The beam of light caught the back of Nicky's green hoodie and he turned towards me, grinning.

"I knew you were no pussy, Dave."

"Keep your voice down," I said glumly, mad at him for goading me into this and irritated at myself for bringing up Zombie Road in the first place. "There's probably nothing out here but it's still private property, I think, and you're definitely not supposed to be out here after dark. We could get, like, a fine or something."

Nicky made a spooky, taunting gesture with his fingers.

"Oooo, a FINE or something! Big Brave Dave doesn't want to get a FINE or something! Jesus, maybe I was wrong after all. No pizza for you."

I didn't respond. I was pouting and scanning the treeline above us for movement. It had occurred to me suddenly that Missouri might have cougars in the woods but I didn't tell Nicky that; it would've just given him more ammo.

We walked along in silence for a few minutes before Nicky turned towards me, walking backwards and blinding me with the beam of his flashlight.

"How old were you when you first heard about this place?" he asked. I shrugged, trying to keep an eye on both him and the tree-lined ledges. Nicky had a mean streak in him. Couldn't put it past him to screw with me while I wasn't looking.

"Idunno, like, 10? About the time you start hearing the local scary shit. But none of it adds up, it's not like Lemp Mansion where there's one story and that's it. Everybody tells you something different."

"Yeah? Like—”

Nicky's light suddenly faltered. He cut himself off and went down, hard, with a yell.

I broke into a run. When I caught up to him, Nicky was on his ass, one foot sunk deep into what appeared to be a pile of mud. His flashlight had rolled several feet away and cast a ghostly beam towards the continuation of the road behind him.

"What the fuck is that?" I asked, bewildered. Nicky tugged at his foot with both hands around the ankle — no dice. It stayed put.

"Idunno, like a fucking mud puddle or something? Shit, it's thick, man." He pulled again.

That sensation spread across the back of my neck again.

"It hasn't rained in like, a month, right?"

"Who gives a fuck? I don't wanna lose my shoe, man, help me out."

It took us almost five minutes to get his foot out of the mud puddle — now that I think about it, maybe it was more like quicksand — and finally succeeded. With a great wet sucking sound, Nicky pulled free… minus one shoe.

"FUCK," he said, and stuck his right arm into the puddle.

"I feel like that's a bad idea," I said uneasily, eyes returning to the trees. It seemed like it had gotten darker since we started walking; I could barely see anything beyond them without help of my flashlight.

"What, like something's gonna bite my arm off or something?" Nicky demanded, twisting to look at me. "Grow up, there's nothing out—” And for the second time that night he cut himself off.

"What?" I asked, then turned behind me to look further down Zombie Road where Nicky's eyes were fixed.

In the beam of his flashlight sat a huge owl. If I remember right from all those trips to the zoo, it was a Great Horned Owl, to be exact. Its yellow eyes shone eerily. It was just fucking sitting there in the middle of the road, staring at us.

"Is that an owl?" Nicky said, still up to his elbow in mud. Before I could answer him, a quick scampering movement made us both shriek like girls.

We shut up when we realized it was just a mouse — to be fair, it cast a huge shadow as it scurried past the flashlight — but what happened next made our breath catch in our throats.

The owl sat there, staring intently both at and through us. The mouse kept scuttling straight toward it, like it had no idea what danger it was in.

The mouse stopped when it was about two inches away from the owl. The owl, never moving its gaze, calmly reached out with one hooked claw and pierced the mouse with its talons. In one unnaturally smooth motion, it swallowed the mouse whole.

Then it just sat there.

"The fuck?" Nicky said dumbly.

Before I could agree with his sentiment, another movement caught my attention, behind the trees above us. This one was no mouse.

I swung my flashlight slowly up towards the treeline surrounding us and my guts went cold.

"Nicky," I said, keeping my voice very quiet, "we should go."

I couldn't see what he was doing but I heard the sloopy-slurping sound of what must've been him retrieving his lost shoe.

"The owl is gone, man," he said in wonder, but I didn't give a shit about the owl anymore.

"Nicky," I repeated, "we need to go. NOW."

"What are you talking about?" he said, but then he saw them too.

On either side of the craggy hills that surrounded us, threaded through the trees in stark silhouette against the night sky, were the shadows of people. Maybe there were 20, maybe there were 50, I don't know. They lined the hills. They stared down at us.

"That's not real," Nicky said in a thin wavering voice that sounded wholly unlike him.

A chorus of high, childlike giggles broke out, echoed through the woods.

"Put your fucking shoe on and let's go." I was already walking slowly in the direction that we'd come from. I kept my flashlight trained at the shadow figures as I did so. There was a squelching noise as Nicky did as I asked, putting his shoe back on, and a series of more squelches when he began to follow me.

The farther we walked — slow as not to urge any of the figures into action — the more of them we saw. They didn't seem to end. There were so many of them.

We just needed to get to the spot where the ledges fell away and opened into the vacant gravel lot where we'd parked, we could make a break for it then. I was thinking how it seemed like it should've happened already, we hadn't really walked that far, when suddenly an unholy shriek cut through the still night air.

A fox, my panicked brain insisted, a lady fox, they do that all the time, they make those screamy sounds sometimes but I knew it wasn't a fox just like I'd known from the beginning we shouldn't have gone down this road.

I whirled, jabbing my flashlight around the road to make sure nothing was near us before realizing that I'd taken my eyes off the shadows above. When I couldn't see anything nearby I jerked the light back towards the treeline.

They were all gone.

"My mouth tastes funny," Nicky said in a strange, heavy voice. I turned to look at him, he was a mess — thick black mud on both hands, covering his right arm and right leg — and there was something on his face.

When I swept the light back over to him, his face lit in brilliant clarity, I saw that he had blood pouring from both nostrils.

"Jesus, Nicky," I blurted, and could say no more because behind him out of the darkness came lumbering something with long, spindly limbs. It was on all fours and it was moving fast.

Nicky didn't hear it. He was swaying like a drunk.

"RUN!" I screamed.

I don't know if Nicky did because then I was gone, legs pumping, flashlight stuttering back and forth like strobe lights in a rave.

I ran for much longer than I should have. I ran until my chest burned and my legs ached. We'd walked less than a mile, I was sure of it, but I kept running because I could hear that thing behind me, breathing heavy, snorting, snarling. Occasionally I'd hear the laughter again, or the fox-scream, or a low muttering rumble of conversation. Sometimes, a train whistle. Once I heard my name wavering through the trees: "Daaaavid. Daaaavid."

I think that was the worst part, the fact that something knew my name.

It wasn't until dawn's first shreds of light began to touch the edges of the sky that I caught a break. Something about lifting the darkness a little, maybe? Suddenly the road didn't seem endless, I thought I could see the clearing, and as I tumbled out of the forest into the lot I thought I felt something brush against the back of my neck and then—


Then the next thing I remember is the police officers who woke me up.

I'd been found face-down in the gravel, my spent flashlight lying dead beside me. They had to take me home in a squad car because I didn't have the keys to Nicky's car and Nicky, well.

They never found Nicky.

I did research after that night. Lots of it. But it doesn't help. There aren't any answers. Some people say they saw an owl, too. Or got stuck in mud. Or were surrounded by the shadow people.

What good does that do, in the end?

We'll never know why Zombie Road is the way it is. If it was one instance of death, or scores, or if it's just the land itself. But I can tell you this: if you're ever in St. Louis, you should never go to Zombie Road.

Ever.

That, I know for sure. TC mark

I Was Drunk When I Found This Cabin In The Woods And I’m Afraid There’s Something Cursed Living There

Posted: 21 Aug 2015 07:22 AM PDT

Flickr / Roco Julie
Flickr / Roco Julie

I didn’t understand why her father kept her locked in that run-down shed in the woods. When I first saw her chained in that musky place, I was too drunk to figure it out. If only I had paid attention, I might have been able to save her.

beetlejuice

Judging by the dozens of missed call on my dying phone that afternoon, high school officials had informed my mom that I had skipped again. My friends and I had something more important to do than calculus: Getting shit-faced drunk in the woods behind the school. Before we knew it, it got dark, and the group disbanded. In my drunken haze, I must have taken a wrong turn, because I wound up deeper in the forest, where I came across a lone shed. As far as I could see, it didn’t belong to any home or cottage. It was just there, in the middle of nowhere.

A hunter's hut? I wondered, No. What the fuck would they be hunting here … groundhogs?

Stumbling forward, I began hearing sobs escaping through the cracks of the old wooden structure. They were definitely the cries of a human girl. My head spun in a pleasant buzz, turning a simple walk into an awkward zig-zaggy trek.

As I reached the shed, my foot sunk in a particularly deep patch of snow, causing me to lunge forward. My hand rose towards one of the walls for support. It went right through the wood, the plank disintegrating into soft mush, like a soggy piece of bread. Gross. After steadying myself and wiping my hand on my pants, I peered into the hut through the hole I'd just inadvertently created.

It was blurry inside, though that was probably due to the alcohol in my system. I squinted to try and make out shapes through the darkness, but it was almost impossible to see. If I hadn’t heard another whimper, I might have missed her entirely. There was a girl, maybe 5 years old, curled up in the corner. Her arms and legs were bound in thick iron chains, which rattled as she desperately pawed at a stuffed bear just out of reach. She looked up and, for a brief moment, our eyes met. I could feel her fear and sorrow, chipping away at my heart. Through her messy, curly black locks of hair, her lips stretched into a shy smile. She was covered in filth, but seemed otherwise healthy. What kind of sick monster can do this to a kid? I wondered.

"H-hey," I called out.

Still wearing a solemn smile, she stretched an arm towards me, but the chains held it back. She didn’t speak, but her hopeless eyes told me all I needed to know.

"I'll get you out of there," I promised.

I staggered to the door, reaching for the handle. I pushed and pulled, but the damn thing wouldn’t open. The simple latch might have been too much in my drunken state.

Returning to the window, I waved to get her attention, "I’m going to go for help," I said, through slurred speech, "I promise, I'll get you out of there."

beetlejuice

I ran straight for the nearest squad car as soon as I returned to civilization.

DEMO361324

My first mistake was banging the passenger window frantically to get the attention of the cops inside. My second mistake was screaming profanities at the cops as they tackled me to the ground and cuffed me. Why couldn’t I have calmly gone up to them and explained the situation in a rational manner? I could have feigned sobriety. It obviously would have worked out better. Instead, I acted like a weird drunken teenager, cussing up a storm and making insane claims that I'd come across a psychopath's murder hut.

I was arrested for drunken and disorderly conduct.

beetlejuice

"Well, fuck," I murmured, as my jail cell locked shut.

"Sober up, kid. We'll call your mom to pick you up in the morning," said the officer.

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck, I thought, irritated. I'd gone from trying to free an imprisoned child, to winding up just as locked-up as she was. Eventually, I dozed off on an uncomfortable metal bench in the back of the cell.

beetlejuice

In the morning, I was awoken by the sound of jangling keys. The prison guard unlocked my cell and led me to the main desk. I looked around for my mom, but she was nowhere to be seen.

"So … I just get to go home now?" I asked.

"Yeah," he answered, barely paying attention to me.

"And my mom …?"

"She bailed you out last night. She said, and I quote: 'Let that ungrateful prick sleep it off. He can walk home in the morning.' It's called tough love, kid," he replied.

I furrowed my brows. Yup, that sounded like mom all right. Probably trying to teach me a lesson, like that time she made me watch a Scared Straight marathon after I was caught shoplifting.

"Did anyone check out that shed? The one I kept screaming about last night?" I asked.

The officer laughed, patting me on the back, "Yeah, we sent a few officers to scope the area. There's no cabin, kid. Take my advice and lay off the drugs," he told me, using a condescending tone that reminded me of my father.

Prick.

I needed to go back, if only to prove what I saw was real. Mom was probably going to get a call from school again, but I didn’t care. At least I was skipping for a good cause this time.

beetlejuice

There it was, behind a row of snowy maple trees. The small shed where I’d seen the girl. A new wooden plank concealed the hole I had made, suggesting someone had been by since my visit the night before. The door proved much less of a challenge in the light of day and without chemicals swimming in my blood. I was amused by my own inability to complete such a simple task while under the influence. The door scraped along the snow-covered forest floor as I pulled it open. Sure enough, there she was. The girl I'd seen. Somehow, despite her awful situation, she was fast asleep under a thick blanket. She looked so peaceful that I decided not to wake her.

The door to the claustrophobically small shed closed behind me with a click. It was warmer than expected inside the cracked structure. Roughly the size of four office cubicles, the shed was full of oddities, such as an army of broken garden gnomes, bags of seashells, and old store signs, as well as "normal" shed stuff, like wheelbarrows, shovels, a car tarp, toolboxes full of rusted equipment, and a lawnmower. The weirdest thing of all was the net stapled to the ceiling. It wasn't a cheap little bug net, either. It was the kind you see on fishing boats: A big, thick net capable of holding thousands of unruly sea creatures. As far as I could tell, it served no purpose, other than to freak me out.

The girl stirred, her soft brown eyes opening. She immediately reached for her teddy bear, but it was still too far away. She pulled on hers chains, to no avail. There was little to no slack, especially on the ones around her ankles. I picked the teddy bear up, and handed it to her. An overwhelmingly happy smile was given to me as a reward. How could she be so upbeat, after the horrors she’d endured?

“I’m going to get you out of here,” I said.

Kneeling down in front of her, I fiddled with the cuffs on her wrists. Unfortunately, lock picking was a skill I’d only learned in videogames. Try as I might, I couldn’t get them undone. Okay, no problem, I thought. Maybe the chains were attached to the mushy, rotten, decomposing walls. Surely, I’d be able to break the wood to free her. I pulled off her blanket to reveal a concrete slab from which the chains emerged. It looked as though they'd been molded right into the block. I needed to use a different strategy.

“What’s your name?” I asked, as I examined each link for signs of weakness.

She didn’t answer. Instead, she just smiled and hugged her bear.

"Well, my name's Adrian," I told her.

I was really counting on finding rusted links that I could break off, but had no such luck. Unlike the other objects in the shed, the chains were in pristine condition. If I wanted to break them, I was going to have to use some tools. I rummaged through the toolboxes for anything that might do the trick. I hammered, I sawed, I wrenched, but it was all in vain. All I had to show for a morning's worth of work were a few scratches on a single link. The chains were simply too strong.

The girl silently watched me work. Every now and again, I asked her questions. Her favorite color, TV show, superhero. She only ever smiled to acknowledge my question, but kept her lips sealed shut.

beetlejuice

An animalesque whine escaped her lips while I was in the middle of sawing the chain for the fifth time. Half its teeth had broken off in the process, but I had stubbornly continued my work. I stopped for a moment and listened, only to hear footsteps approaching. She pointed to one of the corners of the shed, as though to telling me to hide. Like a cockroach, I scurried into the darkness, hiding behind the garden gnomes. One of them glared at me with his beady little eyes. The fuck you looking at? I thought.

A pair of feet came into view. I was half-expecting him to look like a flesh-eating lunatic of some sort, but what I saw was a middle-aged man dressed quite plainly. He shook snow off his salt-and-pepper hair, and closed the door behind him. There was a picnic basket nestled under his arm, which he set down next to the girl.

"Lunchtime, Emma," he announced, his voice strangely mournful.

He pet the child's head and, to my surprise, she didn’t recoil in terror. Stockholm syndrome? I theorized. The man began to pull out a variety of lovingly-prepared food items. Heart-shaped sandwiches, a bowl of warm soup, colorful fruit-kabobs, and even a cupcake for dessert. He took great care in hand-feeding her the meal he'd made. As I lay there, watching the scene unfold, he gave me the impression more of a loving father than that of a murderous child-abductor. My stomach gurgled hungrily at the feast, but I tried to will it to stop, for fear that it'd give me away. I couldn't help Emma if I got caught and chained up next to her.

Once she finished the meal, he put everything back in the picnic basket, and gave her a toy truck, “I’ll be back in time for supper, honey. Be good,” he murmured, kissing her forehead.

My face twisted at the sight. How could someone be so delusional? I stayed hidden long after he left the shed, just in case he'd come back. Eventually, I crawled out, my stiff neck crackling with relief. Emma was playing with her new toy, a happy smile on her face.

My afternoon was spent much like the morning, hacking away at the chains, to no avail. As supper drew near, I became increasingly nervous. I knew her father would return soon, and I needed to get home. I had to make a tough call.

“I’ll be back tomorrow, okay?”

She smiled and nodded.

I hated the thought of her spending the night alone, but I had to go. There was no other choice.

beetlejuice

I had only one mission when I got to school the next day: Break into the janitor's closet where he kept the lock cutter. I knew he had one, since the school had performed a "random" drug search on my unit the month before.

I followed Mr. Bentley as he roamed about, picking up litter in the hallway. Every time he looked my way, I'd act like I was checking my phone. I’m not sure if he bought it, but my shifty behavior certainly didn’t keep him from eventually unlocking the maintenance closet. I kept my distance, and waited for him to exit. Once he did, I subtly slid my foot between the door and its frame to keep it from closing. I slipped inside, heart racing, and searched for the lock cutter.

There would be trouble if I was caught, and I couldn’t afford the delay. Emma needed me, and there was no way I was sitting in the principal's office all day over something as stupid as "borrowing school property". I had to be quick. Pushing through a pile of useless junk, I found what I came for: the cutters.

beetlejuice

It was snowing that afternoon as I travelled back into the forest. Free the girl, bring her to the cops, be a hero, I repeated to myself. They had no choice but to believe me if I brought her in. I clutched the metallic jaws close to my chest, my moist mittens sticking to its cold surface. Emma, as always, welcomed me with a big bright smile.

“This time, we're getting you out,” I told her confidently.

I prayed my plan would work, as I slid the lock cutter’s jaws between her skin and the shackle around it. The cuff was tight and there was barely enough room for it to fit, but I managed to wiggle it in any ways. Emma looked terrified. Maybe she feared the device was going to cut her hand off?

“Don’t worry, this won’t hurt,” I reassured, “On the count of three, okay? Deep breath … one … two … three!”

I brought my arms down with all my might.

SNAP

She yelped as the cuff cracked open like an egg, freeing her right hand. She immediately reached for my arm, holding it tightly. I repeated the process until I'd freed every limb. Then, I took her into my arms and ran towards the door, leaving the lock cutter behind. She was light. Lighter than I thought possible. Holding her was like lifting someone in a pool. Sure, she was small, but how could anyone be that light? She clung to me like a baby koala to its mother, her teddy bear squished between our chests.

beetlejuice

I ran through the woods, snow crunching under my feet. Once we'd gotten far enough from the shed, I set the girl down. As I did so, her little hand grabbed mine in a vice-like grip. I forced a reassuring smile. I’d done a good deed. Now, I just needed to get her to the authorities. Child protection services…the cops…anywhere that could keep her "father" away. And I would have. I would have gone straight to help, if I hadn’t felt the light tug, like that of a helium balloon, as we passed a park. She led me to the swing set, releasing my hand only once the other had grabbed hold of the chain. It was a dumbed-down version of what had been keeping her captive less than an hour before. An odd choice.

I pushed her for a bit, but as the sun began to set, I grew wary. Her father had surely returned to the shed by now and had realized she'd escaped. He'd be looking for her, and I was sure the park would be the first place he'd check. I stepped away, and motioned for her to follow. Instead, she clung to the swing set, her body trembling. A single hand outstretched towards me hesitantly.

“I’ve got to get you someplace warm, okay? C’mon. We can’t play anymore,” I answered.

She shook her hand, insisting I take it.

“Fine,” I grumbled.

DEMO611

I took her hand half-heartedly, but the strength with which she held it made me realize she felt safe with me. I smiled and squeezed her tiny, delicate fingers. We took off towards the police station. Never once did she let go of my hand.

Then, it all fell apart. All because of me. Because of a stupid sneeze. I let go for just a moment. A split second, so I could cover my mouth. In the moment it took for my eyes to close and the air to torpedo out of my nose, the girl disappeared. I looked around me frantically. How could she have run away so quickly? I should have noticed it sooner, but when I did, it was too late. I looked at the snow to try and track her, but only my footsteps were present in the snow. There were two thin lines next to me, as though only the tips of her feet had touched the surface the whole time.

Something fell on my head. Something soft and squishy. Her teddy bear bounced off my forehead and landed at my feet. No fucking way.

I looked up.

She was floating, her body drawn towards the sky. Already, she was out of reach, yet her hand still extended down towards me, as though begging me to take it, to save her. Even as I jumped to try and bridge the distance, I failed to come close. It was like watching someone fall into a chasm in slow-motion. She started sobbing, tears falling like raindrops between the snowflakes. Her hand wiggled desperately, but she was already higher than the trees. There was nothing I could do. I wanted to save her. To go after her somehow, but I was chained down. Gravity was chaining me down to earth, like she should have been. I could only watch as she cried and floated up into the sky, helplessly begging for my help, until she disappeared behind the clouds.

beetlejuice

Even to this day, on quiet nights, I can still hear her wailing cries echoing above. Somehow, she's still out there, cursing me for breaking her chains. TC mark

9 Definitive Times When It’s Perfectly Okay To Be In A ‘Just For Now’ Relationship

Posted: 27 Aug 2015 03:07 PM PDT

raex
raex

1. You have completely opposing values and know it would be a mess if you tried to get serious. Yes, Republicans can marry Democrats, as can people of many different backgrounds, ethnicities and religious values. However, some couples (particularly starting out) decide from the get-go that their beliefs are never quite going to come close enough and that they'll inevitably drive the other person up the wall in a relationship. Just because a couple allows it to rule out a future, doesn't mean those two individuals aren't entitled to sleep together/spend quality time/role play before they have a Saunders versus Cruz blow-out fight and call it quits.

2. You already know you want different things. It's entirely possible to care for someone, know they care for you, and be aware of the fact that you just aren't on paths that will ever intersect long enough to be together in the long term. If one of you wants kids and the other wants to move somewhere new every six months, it's safe to say you won't settle down together. But that doesn't discount what you have in the present.

3. You both like the idea of dating without looking for a future spouse. There are some that would say there is no point to dating someone if you couldn't see yourself spending a long time with that person. However, if you both mutually agree that relationship longevity isn't the goal, do whatever the hell you want.

4. You don't want your lives, friends and family to meet, ever. If one of you wants to flaunt your not-so-coupledness, and the other does not, you'll run into a problem. But, if both of you are content to keep your relationship on the semi-downlow without trotting each other out in front of family, you'll do just fine.

5. Neither one of you wants to plan around someone else right now. You both want to be open to taking a job in another city, or going on a date with someone else. You've been upfront about it thus far and have, in the words of Melissa Joan Hart and Adrian Grenier*, an "easy-out clause."

* = important Drive Me Crazy reference

6. You honestly think adding the full-blown commitment element to your relationship would make one or both of you overly controlling. And, for the present, you're just enjoying the fact that neither wants to control (or have a say) in the other person's life. You fight less because of it, and appreciate that it's the one drama free relationship in your life.

7. You're not looking for a long-term commitment. And you'd know to stop when (and if) you decided that's what you wanted.

8. There's a time constraint, or expiration date, beyond either of your control. If you've discussed the circumstances and know it can't be helped, there's a mutual understanding that you just want to spend every waking moment with each other (relatively) before you part ways. This works when someone has an upcoming commitment in another part of the country, or the world, and you don't want to attempt the distance because there's no end date in sight.

9. You don't care to be coupled off for events. In fact, you enjoy the freedom of being able to go to functions, parties, events, what have you, on your own, without having someone you need to entertain or introduce to everyone. You both prefer to meet people separately, and don't want to take yourselves entirely off the market. TC mark

25 People Describe The Gross Habits That Make Them Think Twice About Having Sex With Their Partner

Posted: 28 Aug 2015 07:16 AM PDT

Twenty20.com ashleyartidiello
Twenty20.com ashleyartidiello

1.

"My boyfriend doesn't wash his ass. You're supposed to wash your ass, right? They teach that in first grade, right? Reading, writing, arithmetic, and washing your ass. He didn't get the ‘wash your ass’ memo. And more than once, the stench from his rotten hole has absolutely ruined lovemaking for me. It's to the point where every time I think of having sex with him, my nostrils recoil involuntarily. Help!"

—Valerie, 29

beetlejuice

2.

"His feet stink so bad, I can sometimes, no kidding, smell them from across the room. It's hard to describe foot odor—it's like rotten cheese mixed with rancid lemons, all of it being eaten by squirming maggots. I know that's graphic, but Jesus Christ, his feet could kill an army. He's so fucking hot, but the feet just kill it for me. I tried mentioning it and he got super-defensive."

—Mona, 24

beetlejuice

3.

"He never clips his toenails or fingernails. Never. They're just these yellow gnarled simian extensions on both his hands and feet. And of course there's fingernail gunk and toe jam. We were having sex a few nights ago and everything was fine until I thought of his disgusting nails. I actually faked a seizure so he would stop."

—Jess, 22

beetlejuice

4.

"He's gorgeous and sexy and tall and successful and extreeeeeeemely well-endowed. But he snores like a goddamn crocodile. At least once a night I have to tell him to roll over and sleep on his belly. And he'll do it—for about 15 minutes, then he's on his back again, sucking all the air in the room in through his nose."

—Britni, 27

beetlejuice

5.

"She just doesn't wash down there, OK? I mean, at all. Plus she has a bush the size of Texas. Last time I tried going down on her, it was like I'd suddenly walked into a Greyhound station bathroom. There must have been fifty gallons of dried pee clinging to that monster bush. Am I a douche because I don't like that she doesn't douche? So be it. Sue me."

—Jeff, 21

beetlejuice

6.

"He insists we sleep with his dog. I like his dog, don't get me wrong. But the thing constantly emits farts that are so toxic, they could probably kill cancer cells. And sometimes when we're doing it, the dog will jump into bed and just rip one that's so foul it could start a house fire."

—Sandra, 28

beetlejuice

7.

"Her morning breath. Ho-lee shit! What can I say about her morning breath that hasn't been said about septic tanks? It's like every rotten head of cabbage in the world has been squeezed through a juicer. I love her, but I can't have sex with her in the morning because there's this toxic green cloud billowing out of her mouth."

—Kurt, 25

beetlejuice

8.

"It's the skid marks on his underwear. You know the kind of skid marks you see on the highway after there's been a 12-car pileup? Just disgusting brown streaks all over his underwear. I can't get them out of my head, no matter how much I drink."

—Yukiko, 23

beetlejuice

9.

"She picks her nose—often, and in broad daylight, and with no concern to her surroundings. We were having breakfast at a local diner the other morning and I looked up from my plate to see half of her fist up her nose. She's already way insecure and sensitive so I'm afraid to bring it up. But I'm also afraid that one day she'll pick her nose while we're having sex and render me eternally impotent. Nobody wants that."

—Ted, 27

beetlejuice

10.

"I'm going to have to get a toilet bowl installed in our bathroom that's the size of an Olympic swimming pool, because he keeps missing the bowl and spraying his urine all over the floor and walls like a stray pitbull marking his territory. I love him, but he definitely needs some urinary training. Gross!"

—Rhonda, 31

beetlejuice

11.

"He reaches in, scratches his nuts, and then smells his fingers. I ask him why he smells his fingers. He says he doesn't really know—he just likes doing it. Once he reached over and tried to get me to smell his fingers after he scratched his nuts. I didn't speak to him for a week."

—Brandi, 26

beetlejuice

12.

"She thinks it's cute, but there's absolutely nothing cute about snot rockets. If you don't know what that is, it's when someone closes one nostril and exhales as hard as possible through the other nostril so they shoot out big bloody boogers like projectile missiles. She does this on the street and in our apartment. It gets all over the carpet and is disgustingly crunchy."

—Manny, 28

beetlejuice

13.

"He belches loudly and then, even worse, he laughs. When I tell him that's gross, he laughs even harder. I married a three-year-old."

—Ashley, 29

beetlejuice

14.

"He has massive, nuclear BO. He smells like a hoagie—like a barfy mix of onions and salami and cheese and hot-pepper juice. He's absolutely stunning to look at, but I often wind up wishing I was born without a nose."

—Anita, 22

beetlejuice

15.

"Bites his nails while watching Netflix and then leans over to kiss me. Dude, I don't want you to ‘snowball’ your filthy bacteria into my mouth! Aggggh, it makes me sick just thinking about it."

—Juliet, 27

beetlejuice

16.

"He does not floss. And he smiles a lot. What this means is that he'll be leaning toward me going in for a kiss, and I can see what he's eaten for the past three days lodged between his teeth."

—Arin, 34

beetlejuice

17.

"She squeezes her blackheads on the bathroom mirror and doesn't wipe. Our mirror is all smeared with dried pus and whatever the hell else disgusting is in a blackhead. Sometimes blood. Not exactly ladylike."

—Arthur, 24

beetlejuice

18.

"He drools on the pillow. I told some of my girlfriends about this, and they think it's cute. There's nothing cute about saliva-stained pillows."

—Angie, 27

beetlejuice

19.

"My SO is the sexiest man I've ever laid eyes on. But here's the problem—he farts in his sleep. And it smells like I imagine mustard gas smelling. I know he can't control it, but neither can I control wanting to puke every time it happens."

—Amy, 33

beetlejuice

20.

"She pees in the shower—while we're showering together. And often she pees right onto my feet. When I gently try to complain, she calls me ‘uptight.’ OK, I'm uptight, fine. Just stop peeing on my feet!"

—AJ, 26

beetlejuice

21.

"I've been with my girlfriend for over two years, and I've never known her to buy a new pair of panties. Instead, she just keeps wearing the same period-stained panties month in and month out. They're not tampons—they're panties!"

—Paul, 20

beetlejuice

22.

"I once accidentally caught him picking a scab off his leg and eating it. It was only once, so it's not technically a ‘habit,’ but it's burned in my brain forever. I don't think I'll ever recover from that."

—Jamie, 19

beetlejuice

23.

"He makes this loud, disgusting, loogie-hocking sound before he spits, which is constantly. And when I tell him it's repulsive, he acts like I'm the one with a problem."

—Mo, 30

beetlejuice

24.

"My betrothed is the worst kisser I've ever kissed, and I've kissed a lot of guys. He aggressively shoves his tongue down my throat like he's an attack dog seeking a criminal suspect. Like he's raping my mouth with his tongue."

—Shannon, 23

beetlejuice

25.

"My boyfriend, gotta love him, has this gross habit of cleaning his ears with a pen and then sniffing the pen. It's gotten to the point where I never use pens anymore because I know they're encrusted with his earwax."

—Julie, 22 TC mark

My Neighborhood Is Becoming Gentrified By Jobless, Selfish Assholes

Posted: 27 Aug 2015 11:44 AM PDT

Flickr /  Alex Schwab
Flickr / Alex Schwab

A bunch of white kids moved into the apartment below mine last month. There was something I didn't like about them right away, something I couldn't figure out, which I unearthed tonight as they threw a raging party. The narrow hallways in my building smell like weed, their friends keep paging my apartment by accident, there are people shouting on my stoop after one in the morning.

It's obvious: These kids have no respect for anyone but themselves. They don't have jobs, they run a "recording studio" out of the basement. They unsheathed dad's credit card like a shining silver sword and butted out the black and Hispanic families that live here, a full hour outside Manhattan by train.

I was uncomfortable being on the front line of gentrification when I moved out here a year ago, realizing as I lugged my bed halfway up the stairs that everyone in my building was white but everyone else on my block wasn't. It was something I didn't mean to do, which is what every gentrifier says. No conscionable person wants to contribute to forcing people out of their homes. But something I hadn't come to face was the culture of gentrification.

When June rolled into July and the leases went up, I saw something I'd never seen in my neighborhood before: Three consecutive white people under 25. A woman at my grocery store had to put milk back because her SNAP didn't cover it; as I walked out I saw an ad for a Strongbow tasting scheduled there the next day. A shining new restaurant with $15 entrees sits empty, waiting for its forthcoming patrons like a hungry cat. The neighborhood is going, to twist an old phrase. These new goods and services can be argued as the positives of gentrification, and I can't say I hate the noticeable decline in rotting produce at our C-Town, but like the white boys under my floorboards it filled me with dread like seeing just one bed bug.

I'm thinking about why this one party grates me. It's not just the noise, god help us when fiesta season strikes. There's something about the exclusivity of it. A loud block party welcomes neighbors and family, but these are just college kids who are still getting high because they live with no consequences. Gentrification is isolating, dividing communities, sequestering and containing individuals to shield them from guilt. Gentrification is not manifest destiny, it is a stain like blood seeping through cloth: no one takes blame because no one contributes to it with intent. These kids have no self-awareness. Perhaps worse: they know and they don't care, because the least they could do is live with basic respect to the neighbors they are starving out for exposed brick interiors and slipshod instillation on modern faucets.

These are rich kids co-opting the lives of the poor. They will experience destitution as if in a living museum, walking through the dioramas of hunger: Not that they cannot afford to eat, but that they cannot afford restaurants. Not that they cannot socialize, but that they cannot buy drinks at bars. Not that they must move further out because they cannot pay their rent, but that they must humble themselves to ask their parents for money.

Gentrification is a cheapening of the narrative of suffering. They are enticed by the struggle-to-success-story and want some part in that. They want to have "earned" something. Watching gentrification is like watching a child jealously whine about wanting a turn in a kid's wheelchair, and then getting it.

I'm probably far gone from the reality of this situation. It is late and I'm tired and annoyed; they could be good people, but inconsiderate idiots. Regardless, it's 2 in the morning and I've got to go tell some white kids to turn down Kanye. TC mark

Remember Who Loves You

Posted: 27 Aug 2015 12:11 PM PDT

Twenty20 / teigan
Twenty20 / teigan

I sit in the recliner in my parents' bedroom watching the leaves of the magnolia tree outside as they shiver in the breeze. The sun has set and the marine layer has rolled in from the ocean, turning the sky gray and damp. In a few minutes, I'll run out of light to write, but I want to stay in this moment as long as I can.

Here, alone but surrounded by the familiar markers of home—my parents' faded comforter, herbal tea from a chipped mug—I feel safe and embraced. This scenery hasn't changed since my family moved into this house ten years ago, though I moved out long ago. I sat here at seventeen after my first major breakup, at twenty-two when I moved back in after college. Being here reminds me that, if only in some small, metaphoric sense, you can always go home again.

If this all sounds suspiciously like a pep talk to myself, that's because it is. I sit here, in my parents' house where my two younger brothers still live, trying to remind myself that nothing is forever: work slip-ups and grad school stress in particular this time. My boss may send a scolding email, I may fall short of finishing an assignment, but if I'm lucky I'll take a deep breath and think, “Remember who loves you.”

I don't remember where I heard this phrase used like a mantra for the first time, but it resonated with me immediately. It perfectly encapsulates that feeling I have when I come home to my boyfriend after a class has left me feeling particularly vulnerable (even if he's playing video game and wonders why I'm hugging him so hard). Or when existential doubt falls away in favor of the clutter and mundane dramas of my family. Or when a friend says that kind, perceptive thing and I think, "You get it." You get me. And so I must not be as incomprehensible or alien or horrible as I'd begun to fear.

In one day, we're presented with countless opportunities to feel bad about ourselves or to feel awkward in our skin: caustic coworkers, professional rejection, that stranger who glares at us as we walk down the street for absolutely no reason at all. Isolated, these moments seem to indicate that there's something deeply wrong with us.

But remember who loves you and you bring some much-needed context to it all. Remember who loves you and all the secondary, superficial worries of life begin to recede, if only for a stolen moment. TC mark

Notes To My 21-Year-Old Self: Lessons From Looking Back

Posted: 27 Aug 2015 12:28 PM PDT

raex
raex

I'll start by saying #NoRegrets. However, I am the poster child for wishing you could rewind time. While there are numerous reasons behind that craving, so many of those situations were out of my control. The control I have now and wish I had exercised in my early 20s is the advice I feel wise enough to give at my ripe old age of 28. We can't regret the missed phone calls or final goodbyes to ones we've lost and you cannot change the actions of others. While many of these notions will settle in once your frontal lobe develops, I hope this gives any early 20-something a leg up. That being said, the wise words I can share are from my experiences only and I invite you to consult your medical professional before practicing what I preach.

1. JUST SAY NO

You're invited to birthday after birthday, drinks after drinks, coffee after coffee. You just got your first job (you're probably an assistant) and all of this is so exciting. Meeting new people in this strange place you now live and escaping your tiny apartment with your fun, new roommate who you actually like! (For now.) Eventually you want to spend time with YOUR friends but the invites keep coming, especially from colleagues. But wait! Now these people are asking you to help them move, to come see their band play, or buy tickets to see their one-woman show.

You're going to feel this immense pressure to do everything and to please these new people in your life. DON'T DO IT. That girl* you've hung out with 3 times who just asked you to help her move is never going to help you move. There will be an excuse every. single. time. She'll make plans to have dinner with you and she'll cancel at the last minute every. single. time. Next up is the "friend" who's in a band. If they're good and you enjoy yourself then by all means go and listen to some tunes. If you can't take a reprise of the same 10 songs over and over again THAT'S OK. You can still enjoy this person and think their music is acceptable, but if you have something else you'd rather be doing (i.e. watching "Vampire Diaries" with a glass of Chateauneuf du Pape that cost a 6th of your paycheck) then go do it.

Finally, the best, most direct advice I can give anyone, is this: if someone requests that you attend their one-woman show and that you pay for it, they hate you and don't want you to be happy. For that matter, if anyone guilts you for saying "no", they're not a good friend and you should send them on their way. It's okay to say "no"**.

2. BE LOYAL TO YOURSELF FIRST

I realize this sounds crass, but hear me out. The only true regret I have that haunts me to this day is being loyal to jobs that never had any intent on being loyal to me. I was 22 when I got my first job out of college and I was thrilled. I was an assistant at a huge film production company and thought my career was off to a great start. Just before this I was interning at a different production company that was about to launch a hit TV show. TV is what I love and I knew then that this was what I wanted to do.

As it goes, I was one week into my new job and my friend at the previous company asked me if I'd like to be the showrunner's assistant on this upcoming hit show. I was obviously torn and unfortunately my parents raised a loyal, upstanding citizen so I turned down the offer. I told my friend that I had just started this new job and it wouldn't be right for me to leave. Looking back, screw what's right. I should have done what was right for me, not this company. They would have found a replacement in hours of me leaving and they may have loathed my presence forever, but at least I would have been doing what I loved***.

Don't be blindly loyal to anyone but yourself. As fate would have it I made a similar mistake again with another career move and that job took over my life. The day I stopped being loyal to them was the day I left and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Hard work and loyalty are not the same thing. Define yourself and be brave.

3. BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO

You know those "friends" I mentioned in #1? Well, some of them can turn on you, and quickly. I believe this is cyclical. You find friendship, become close, and somehow get tangled in each other's lives. You start to realize that some of these friends are competing with you, and you don't know why. Or you can find a photo of them under FLAKY in the Dictionary. You may slowly notice some manipulation, passive aggressiveness, and maybe you somehow don't get invited to brunch one Sunday and they make sure you find out. Lucky for us, this isn't High School.

You don't have to be friends with these people. (Repeat after me: You don't have to be friends with these people.)

Yes, it's much easier said than done. Breaking up with a friend is extremely difficult. Somehow they became your frenemy and yet they still want you to be their friend. This never made sense to me. I've had my fair share of girls who have said horrible things about me, and I heard about it. (Side Note: Just be nice. Try really hard to just be nice.

When you say something horrible it will get back to that person, it just will. I'm guilty of this too – we're all human.) These women still wanted to be my friend and fought for my friendship at certain points. Why, if you think lowly of someone, would you ever want to be their friend? If someone's saying it about you, or you're saying it about someone else, then you aren't truly friends.

Break up with toxic friends, especially if they are making you toxic.

4. DON'T BE THE PUPPET OR THE MASTER

The most effective story I can tell to describe this is one of love lost. Preface: this guy is a great guy, we are great friends, and this is just a life lesson.

I really, really liked this guy and he agreed to drive cross country and drop me off for my senior year of college. This could have been a fun road trip. One with interesting people, maybe The World's Largest Ball of Twine, and hopefully full of sex. Long story short, that didn't happen. He was a man on a mission: 16 hours to Denver, CO, and sleep – 12 hours to our destination, and sleep. Throughout the trip he was cold, quiet, and made me feel horribly insecure. By the second night on my barely-there blowup mattress, when the "I'm tired" excuse no longer worked, he finally had the courage to tell me that he didn't have feelings for me anymore, and that we worked better as friends. I was crushed. But after I was crushed, I was pissed. (Even if we were better off as just friends.) My friend, Kristen, could have done this road trip with me and we could have seen The World's Largest Ball of Twine (Cawker City, KS, if you're interested), flirted with some cuties in Nashville, and you know we would have hit up Vegas (love me some Penny Slots).

Moral of this story: Don't string people along. Even if you think you can soften the blow or somehow ease their future suffering, just be honest. Communicate with people. You'll be afraid to hurt them but respect them enough to decide how they feel. On the flip side, if you think someone is stringing you along? Be brave enough to ask them.

5. LONELY CAN BE LOVELY

Learn to be alone. This is hard in your early 20s because there's so much going on and you probably have a roommate or five. One of the best things I ever did was live alone. It was only for a year, but the space was entirely mine. Going home after work and having no obligations except for feeding myself felt really great. The time I had to myself to think, cook, read, or watch what I wanted, when I wanted, was the best. It can be very difficult for people to learn to be alone. Most of us go from a full house to a full dorm and live with roommates until we find our permanent home.

After a year of living alone, I moved in with a friend and found that I missed the solitude. That's when my friend, Jocelyn, suggested I eat a meal alone. I had never done that, except while traveling. The idea made me uncomfortable, so I knew I had to try it. One Thursday I went to my favorite sushi place and ordered my favorite meal. They clearly thought, "oh poor, sad girl", so they hooked me up with extra spicy tuna (#NotMad). When I started showing up alone every Thursday, they caught on to my tricks. The time I spent alone in that restaurant, with a large Sake (#NoShame) and a lot of sushi, helped me clear my head and focus my energy more than I ever thought possible. Maybe you can prepare your week. Write a little, or read a lot. I now live with my boyfriend and still enjoy alone time, I think everyone does. If you've never experienced it, Yen Sushi will welcome you with open arms.

Please don't think I'm suggesting you close yourself off to people, dump all your friends, and go live in a hole somewhere. Through my cynicism I am still very open to new people and experiences, I just don't take stock in them so readily. Even if you read this and take heed in what I've shared, you will definitely experience these things on your own. However, you have to stop asking yourself "What if?" because, if you're as neurotic as I am, you'll probably need to up your anti-anxiety meds. After all, our experiences, successes, and failures define who we are. While I do wish I had known these things in my early twenties I refuse to get caught up in the past, It's wasteful.

P.S. Most importantly:

Aladdin
Aladdin

*To get rid of the mooch girl mentioned in #1, refer to #3.
**This also applies to throwing any type of shower in your late twenties+.
***On that note, I don't condone being a flaky employee. 82 jobs in 2 years never looks good on a resume. TC mark

25 Actual Skills We Would Put On Our Resumes If We Didn’t Really Care About Being Employed

Posted: 27 Aug 2015 01:33 PM PDT

The Office
The Office

1. Strong ability to pull up decoy Excel spreadsheet in short amount of time when boss walks over to desk.

2. Can come up with incredible, detailed excuses for coming in late after drinking too much at office happy hour.

3. Knows how to make a show of putting in headphones so coworker knows that they should STFU now.

4. Consistently keeps eye on who’s currently in the kitchen before getting up to refill coffee.

5. Knows which coworkers to approve of as Facebook friends based on how they would react to tagged photo history.

6. “Language Skills: Conversational in Spanish” is code for “able to say holagracias, and anything else Pitbull says in beginning of songs.”

7. Can make it to work on time after only waking up thirty-two minutes ago.

8. Always saves up sick days to cash in on when going on secret job interviews elsewhere.

9. Really good at pretending to care about current ailment of coworker’s pet.

10. Great at identifying who’s popping in the adjacent stall based on their shoes.

11. Proficient in Microsoft Word and that’s it.

12. Can wait at least four seconds after getting home before proclaiming “I hate my job” to significant other.

13. Knows which coworkers to invite on a Starbucks coffee run, and can do so quietly so that no one else gets involved.

14. Also knows how to explain to elder boss what the point of going to Starbucks is when “there’s coffee here.”

15. Has gained 20 pounds since college from dedication to soulless, work life monotony.

16. Capable of using subtle sarcasm when replying to passive-aggressive emails.

17. Consistently has face of concentration and ability to look busy to ensure being left alone.

18. Can come up with excuse off top of head when asked to stay late.

19. Can decipher if coworker or boss is mad based on how many smiley faces and exclamation points are used in email.

20. Able to convince officemates of being a real person while still sharing as little personal information as possible.

21. Has gotten used to saying “Happy Holidays” in work-related communication.

22. Capable of acting interested and shocked when boss tells story for 8th time.

23. Always times lunch break around that of various coworkers in order to ensure solitude.

24. Treats boss’s absence for the day like a mini-vacation.

25. Regularly revisits ideal life/job day-dream when unable to handle shitty Monday’s. TC mark

13 Things That Definitely Happened In Your Childhood If Your Parents Were College Professors

Posted: 28 Aug 2015 10:51 AM PDT

Twenty 20 / Jovanadventures
Twenty 20 / Jovanadventures

1. You were always asked, “Are you going to be as smart as [insert parent(s) here]?” To which you just nodded and smiled. Looking back, I wish I could have answered, “Bruh, I don’t know. I am just trying to keep my coloring inside the lines, you know?”

2. Your parents exposed you to so many things as a child, and even then you knew that deciding what you wanted to be when you grow up would be difficult and painful. You wanted to do everything because you had so many interests!

3. Your friends could boast the latest in technology and toys. What could you boast the latest in? Books. You were always the first to have books.

4. You likely had an edge over a lot of people in terms of your schooling. Sometimes this made you entirely complacent towards it because you knew at the very least, you’d be fine.

5. But mostly, even if you didn’t have direct pressure to do well from your parents, you felt it, just by being their child. They were “smart people” after all. You had to live up to that.

6. You would always get a little thrown off when people would call your parents, “Dr.” And not only that, so would your friends. And you would have to explain to them that your parents are, “Doctors in their field.” Did you know what this meant entirely? No. Did it shut your friends up? Yes.

7. You picked up a lot of big words and phrases really early – which would impress the adults around you, including your parents. Unless of course you were using their own words against them. Which may have landed you lots of laughs, or in a lot of trouble.

8. Your home library was a sacred thing in your family. And your parents expected you to treat it as such. You knew that the entire house could burn down but as long as their books (and research) were fine, your parents would be okay.

9. If you ever needed help with your homework, your parents could either help you with it or find a professor who could. At the very least, you’d go to the university library and get help for days.

10. Your parents went on trips to really cool places (where they had conferences). But sometimes they brought you along too! It was 98% the reason you have visited as many places as you have, which of course also developed your early interest in travel.

11. Whenever people asked you what your parents did, you had way too much information about it for a child. Example: “Well, my mother is in special education and she teaches learning disabilities but her specialization is in education of the gifted and talented.” (Perfectly explains why you still give comprehensive answers to things – explanations are fundamental, in your eyes.)

12. While some families talked about how their days went at dinner time, you got attuned to politics, current events, and cultural happenings pretty fast. And without even realizing it, you were always seeking more information about these things.

13.  For what it’s worth, even as a child, your parents instilled in you a curiosity of wanting to know. That there is value in learning simply because learning is valuable – it is an end in and of itself. And sure, ten year-old you might not have understood all that. But looking back, and especially now, you just feel really lucky to have known this all along. TC mark