Thought Catalog


You Want Me To What? 21 Sex Workers Describe Their Weirdest Client Requests

Posted: 22 Sep 2015 12:43 PM PDT

via Shutterstock
via Shutterstock

1. “He wanted me to put a plug up his butt and call him every hour at his office to make sure he still had it in. I did this for an entire week, only letting him take it out to use the bathroom and go to sleep. I actually enjoyed the power play of it way more than I thought I would.”

—Emily, 27

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2. “One guy asked to call me ‘mother’ the whole time we were having sex. Keep in mind, variations of this are pretty common stuff but I’d never had anyone want to matter of factly call me ‘mother’ like he was an English butler giving instructions on cleaning the mansion. It actually seemed weirder to me than a guy begging for a dildo ramming while calling out ‘mommy’.”

—Tammy, 23

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3. “Testicle slapping. I’ve had several clients request this but the first one had injected saline into his scrotum so that it was enormous. He wanted them smacked until they were red and hot. The guy came three times that way. It was actually kind of impressive.”

—Brianna, 30

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4. “I had a client that wanted me to tell him about how I lost my virginity during foreplay. Considering I lost mine the way most people do, in an awkward fumbling session that’s completely forgettable, I just made some stuff up about an older man who wanted to teach me, etc. He was super into that. I didn’t see him again. Every man I’ve come across that wanted to hear virginity stories has ended up being a super creeper and borderline pedo.”

—Michelle, 25

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5. “He wanted me to spit in his mouth and tell him what a piece of sh*t he was so I did. I mean, this isn’t that uncommon but at the time it was all I could do not to crack up. The whole thing seemed hilarious to me.”

—Jacqueline, 22

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6. “I had a client who wanted me to dress like his ex-wife (he brought a picture) and have conversations with me. It was a little disturbing at first but after a couple of sessions I realized this guy was harmless and just had a lot of bottled up emotions. When we had sex on the fifth date he thanked me and I never saw him again. You could actually see a transformation over those five sessions from a very unhappy and emotional person to a more relaxed and hopeful one. One of the few times I’ve felt like my work was objectively helpful to someone.”

—Sandra, 26

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7. “This actually happened just last week. A client had three different outfits for me for every part of our session. He wanted me to wear one during the getting to know you conversation, a second for foreplay, a third for actual sex (which he took off), and then he had me change back into the first one when the session was over. They were nice clothes too and he gave them to me as a gift which was cool.”

—Danielle, 25

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8. “I have two types of clients, people who want an intimate encounter and people who are working out psychological issues for themselves. Sometimes these two things cross over and sometimes they don’t. I had one client who was so insecure about his body that he wanted to watch me with another client beforehand so that he ‘wouldn’t do it wrong’. I ended up getting my boyfriend who’s totally cool with exhibitionism to pose as a client and we had a pretty hot sex session, apparently too hot. The poor client was so intimidated by what good sex looked like that that was the last time I saw him.”

—Anna, 26

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9. “I had one client who asked me to stick thumbtacks into his dick and got mad when I wouldn’t. Um, no. Also, get out.”

—Charlotte, 25

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10. “I considered this weird at the time because I was new to the game but I had one client, about 40 years old, who wanted me to crush bugs in stiletto heels while he watched. The guy brought a whole cardboard box of cockroaches (who knows where he got them) and a pair of vinyl heels in my size. He didn’t tough himself or anything, just watched as I played sexy exterminator. It was definitely gross at the time but it was also some of the easiest money I’ve ever seen.”

—Sarah, 24

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11. “I had one client who only wanted to see me when I was on my period so he could go down on me and he really enjoyed it. I have to say I enjoyed it too.”

—Catherine, 23

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12. “The weirdest request I ever had was from a guy who wanted to take a dump on my chest. When I said no he asked if I would take a dump on his chest. The answer to that was also no.”

—Ophelia, 22

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13. “I cam about once a week and the strangest request I’ve had that I was willing to do was a couple from the UK who wanted me to watch them have sex and kind of talk dirty to both of them while I played with myself. They were good looking and fun to watch so I didn’t mind at all but it was still the most unique non-gross request I’ve ever received.”

—Samantha, 24

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14. “I’ve had a number of ‘first timer’ clients but the only one I rejected was when this 18-year-old skinny kid made arrangements with me and then when he showed up and I spoke to him for about ten minutes it was clear his older brother had pushed him into the entire thing, that he wasn’t comfortable, and was possibly in denial about being gay. I felt really terrible for him and cancelled the appointment.”

—Denise, 30

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15. “In my profession you run into some extremely specific client fantasies and a lot of them seem very odd since you’re not the one having them. There was one client of mine who wanted to watch this specific Brazzers clip over and over with me and recreate it. I was fine with it but he acted like a director the whole time. He definitely seemed to enjoy it.”

—Cindy, 21

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16. “Not so much a weird request as just a weird thing that happened. I met one client who had warned me beforehand that he was unusually hung and I took this for the standard humblebragging that I’d heard so many times before. Well, when he arrive he really wasn’t kidding. The thing was as long as my forearm and thicker than my wrist and it looked even bigger than that since he was only about 5 and a half feet tall. I had to politely decline because there was no way I could have made that work. I actually felt bad for him though, he’d clearly been declined for the same reason before.”

—Jamie, 26

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17. “The first time I did a BDSM session I laughed through nearly the whole thing. It was something I was trying to branch out into because it can be a bit easier physically but it’s just not my thing. Every BDSM scenario I’ve ever seen or taken part in just makes me laugh because they all seem so absurd and hilarious. The costumes crack me up. I did two sessions like this and the second client who was apparently a BDSM veteran told me very nicely that this just wasn’t my thing. I was glad to hear that, actually.”

—Christina, 23

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18. “I have a fair number of clients who are trying to work through issues they have but I rarely have female clients. However another client of mine referred one woman to me who was a total sub but didn’t seem to know it. She had been married for 10 years and the sex between her and her husband had become almost nonexistent. Within three sessions I’d so worn her out with toys and bondage play that the problem became obvious. She didn’t feel comfortable being that vulnerable in front of a man. Once she knew it she was able to address it with him and herself. I mention this as weird because most people her age know what they like but she was basically just too stubborn to admit she liked being a sub.”

—Shannon, 30

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19. “I have a particular talent for being able to fit large things in my throat without gagging. I had one client who, once he discovered this, spent the entire session sticking large dildos into my mouth until he finished on my face which was fine by me but not at all the vanilla sex he’d said he was into when we chatted at the beginning of the session.”

—Emily, 20

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20. “I had one client who wanted to watch a friend and I pretend to study. He didn’t even touch himself while we did this but he would direct like ‘stretch and yawn like you’re tired’ and things like that. His one stipulation was that we never acknowledge his presence in any way other than following his directions. My partner was actually in school at the time and actually did study during these sessions which was even better for the client. I must have done this with her 10 times.”

—Janelle, 20

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21. “I was once asked to wear a pony costume so that the client could then penetrate me with a rubber horse phallus. While creative, I passed on that one. The costume material was polyester and I couldn’t imagine covering myself in it head to toe for more than a few minutes.”

—Rebecca, 26 TC mark

15 Signs You’re “Sort Of” In Love With Someone (Even If You Barely Know Them Yet)

Posted: 22 Sep 2015 04:50 PM PDT

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Dashutka2212

1. You go out of your way to find out about their family and friends. Why? It makes your daydreams of what long-term relationship with them might look like all the more vibrant and realistic.

2. You are addicted to their social media feed.

3. Your sense of self is sharpened. You are infatuated with their greatness and it inspires you to be your best self.

4. When you smile at them you don't smile with your usual smile. It's a custom smile. A smile reserved just for them. A new shape of your face that only they can unlock.

5. You aren't preoccupied with having sex with them. This isn't lust. This is a seed of love and your longing for them is comprehensive, a yearning for all that they are.

6. That said, you have detailed ideas of what the sex might be like. Not only for the first time, but also years from now.

7. You find yourself doubting your infatuation at times. The line of thinking might go something like this: I bet I would get sick of [insert attribute here] real quick. This won’t work out. Or, I don’t think I can date someone that likes [insert type of music here]. These thoughts though are fleeting and quickly your infatuation comes back even stronger than before.

8. A positive, flirty text message from them is like lighting bolt of energy. Everything can be crappy but when that message comes it's like a double espresso of joy that can alter the course of your day.

9. When you are with them IRL, you become simultaneously shy and social. Shy because you need to be reserved with your feelings. You can't just blurt out your love. You have to be careful. Social because you are so intrigued by this person. You have so much to say to them, and so much you want to know about them.

10. You adjust your personality to like things they like. It's genuine, too, you sincerely start to like the things they like.

11. When you chant their name in the back of your mind, you're instantly calmed.

12. You have the most visceral and intense dreams about them. In fact, sometimes they're so real that when you wake up the next morning it takes some time for you to wake up and realize it was in fact a dream.

13. Habits that might be annoying in a long-term relationship appear cute and endearing at this “I haven't explicitly told you I like you” yet distance.

14. No matter how busy you might be, you're more than happy to drop everything and help them do something, even if it’s a boring task like assembling IKEA furniture.

15. You worry maybe you don't even know this person at all. That concern though is made inconsequential by your magnetic attraction to them, to figuring out what will come of this "sort of" love. Will it grow into a towering tree, or vanish into thin air? TC mark

8 Things Every Woman Who’s Tried Tinder (Even One Time) Has Experienced

Posted: 22 Sep 2015 03:45 PM PDT

Men who think asking for sex is a good way to introduce yourself to a woman.

Bye Felipe
Bye Felipe

Does this ever work?

A surprisingly long list of men for whom ‘hey’ is an enticing opening sentence.

It’s a well documented fact that in online dating, women receive tons of messages compared to men. This would be a thing to be jealous of, if it weren’t for how completely lackluster 99% of these messages are. Mostly, they all just say “hey.”

What’s most shocking about these people is most of them work in the business world! They know about marketing! They know, consciously, that if you are in a situation in which the supply is higher than the demand, you make your product stand out in some way. In no other area of their lives do they expect to get what they want by being so passive about it. And yet here we are.

Married men who think you’re going to be totally fucking chill with them being married.

Married men think all single women fantasize about having an affair with them. When, you know, single girls actually fantasize about ending up with someone who isn’t such a baby bitch that they go on a dating app and try to hook up with randoms instead of working on their relationship or being strong enough to leave something that no longer benefits them. They also all have the same story about their Big Bad Wife who never gives them enough attention and how they’re “basically just roommates now.” K.

Men who are clearly copy and pasting the same message to a bunch of random women.

Bye Felipe
Bye Felipe

When it’s a long message that is also somehow (???) very generic, you can tell that this dude is copy and pasting this to a bunch of women to see who will get a response. My question is this: it’s very obvious what you are doing and you would have to be stupid not to know that. Do you want to end up with someone who is stupid? This is how you end up with someone who is stupid. You’re going to get married and she’s going to fall for a phishing scam and lose your retirement.

Men who express their anger at the world through their profile.

“No game players” “I hate drama.” “Not looking for women who…[insert hyper specific thing that probably only applies to their ex].”

For some reason these men are so entrenched in their last relationship that they think its appropriate to begin a new one by shit-talking their ex. Women do this too and it’s lame as hell. Grow up and leave your baggage in the past where it belongs.

Men who don’t think it’s AT ALL CREEPY to find a woman elsewhere online and confront them about unmatching.

This is not a good idea.

If in your head you started to ask “but what about if…” let me answer your question for you:

This is not a good idea. Don’t do this.

Men who turn unexpectedly violent when you don’t live up to their expectations.

Bye Felipe
Bye Felipe

The pseudo-anonymity of Tinder creates a world where people think the words they say have no consequences. The other “people” are just profiles, and if they hurt us by rejecting us, we can make them hurt with our words. At least, I think that’s what’s going on here. I can only speak from a woman’s perspective but this happens commonly and I’ve never in my entire life even felt the hint of an urge to yell at a stranger for not messaging me back.

Actually, just the lowest depths of humanity in general.

Bye Felipe
Bye Felipe

What’s actually shocking isn’t the content of this message (we’ve all gotten one like this) it is how normal the guys who say things like this seem before the switch is flipped. Like, I bet people in his everyday life know him as a “good” guy. He has friends and family and people love him, and yet here he is, speaking to actual humans like this. God help us all. TC mark

Be The Guy Who’s Comfortable Talking About Problems: 16 Things Modern Women Need From Their Boyfriend

Posted: 22 Sep 2015 07:32 AM PDT

basiciggy
basiciggy

1. Must love brunch. Coffee, bacon, pancakes. THE WORKS. Do not judge your partner when she orders it all + 2 eggs + a Mimosa.

2. Must love dogs. Little dogs, big dogs, DOGS.

3. Cats are okay too! But only if you fill your Insta with pics of you shirtless with them cuddling on a Sunday morning. ;)

4. Be the guy who’s comfortable with talking about problems – not randomly disappearing for days on end.

5. Wear suits. Wear flannel on the weekends. Wear funny t-shirts you’ve had since you were 16. Wear what makes you comfortable and confident.

6. Call your mom. Call your dad. Call your best friend from college. Show you care about someone else in your life.

7. Drink craft beer but don’t be the dude who pretentiously talks about hops or scolds a woman for not liking certain types of craft beer. Some like IPAs. Some like porters.

8. Be open minded, non-judgmental, and open to change.

9. Recycle. Volunteer. Be a good person inside and out.

10. Have a job. Have a car. Be someone your girlfriend isn’t embarrassed to bring to Thanksgiving dinner.

11. Don’t ever say out loud you went to Burning Man. Just don’t.

12. Be the guy who calls instead of texts.

13. Don’t be the guy who has a million girls he snapchats, Facebook chats, and ‘likes’ pics on Insta.

14. Remember your girlfriend’s allergies – gluten, nut, whatever. Don’t be the idiot who orders her seafood when she’s deathly allergic.

15. Don’t treat her like you’re the wiser person teaching her things about music and movies like she’s a little girl. She probably has a better music collection than you do and knows more about whatever shitty B movies you’ve both been obsessed with since you were kids. You might be cool but guaranteed, your girlfriend’s cooler.

16. Don’t send dick pics. It ain’t that cute. TC mark

The 10 Commandments Of Borrowing Someone Else’s Netflix Account

Posted: 22 Sep 2015 03:57 PM PDT

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1. If you ask to borrow someone's Netflix account and they don't text back for over an hour, take that as a "no." They probably didn't want to feel bad for having to actually reject you, so take that silence as a denial. Don't double down of the potential awkwardness by asking again.

2. If you are borrowing Netflix, don't tell anyone else who lent you their account. If Person 1 shares a stick of gum with you and Person 2 later asks where you got the gum, you don't tell them Person 1 gave it to you and send other panhandlers their way. You say it was your own, but you don't have anymore/can't share, ya ninny.

3. If you're dating the person you borrow from, and the two of you breakup, you have approximately 24 hours to get your own Netflix account before the password is changed.

4. Please refrain from streaming any Tyler Perry movies, as watching even one of them causes Netflix to relentlessly, aggressively, recommend every last predominantly black film they have in their database.

5. Don't explore the weird part of Netflix. Watch Human Centipede on your own time, on your own movie streaming accounts.

6. Giving out the login info to anyone else gets you a lifetime ban. No parole.

7. Any embarrassing guilty pleasure shows & movies you see the account owner watching in his/her "Recently Watched" section must remain unspoken of and confidential.

8. If, in the future, you acquire access to an HBO GO account, you must immediately offer to share it with the person who formerly lent you their Netflix as a courtesy. You went from rags to riches, don't forget who got you there — it's the right thing to do.

9. Don't add your own 'Profile' to the account. That's like asking to spend the night at a friend's place, and hanging pictures of yourself all over the walls.netflixprofiles

10. If you're seen out, spending more than $7.99, that means you can afford your own account, therefor you're cut off immediately.

In theory, following all of these commandments makes borrowing someone else's Netflix such a restricted, pain in the tuchus experience that people will just gather up eight smackaroos a month and fund their own movie watching habits. TC mark

Originally published on PanjamsOverPeople.com.

15 Subtly Sexy Things Guys Can Only Do In Fall

Posted: 22 Sep 2015 04:04 PM PDT

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Photo by Zolusiowo (Twenty20)

1. Make your hot drink of choice in the morning. Yes, it's always nice to have someone bring you a little coffee or tea, but nothing can compare to the feeling of having a guy make you your morning drink while leaves are rustling outside and you get to stay under the comforter you just took out of storage.

2. Read/work in a coffee shop in a hot fall outfit. Most seasons, the Dude In The Coffee Shop is kind of exhausting, but put him in some knits and turn down the temperature outside a cool 20 degrees, and all of a sudden he's sexy and mysterious. It's that grown-up back-to-school vibe. And speaking of which,

3. Wear a college sweater. What is it with guys in college sweaters? They don't even have to be current students, it's just the perfect fall look.

4. Drape their jacket over your shoulders. In winter, it is way too cold to pull the dainty, over-the-shoulder jacket crap. And in summer, who the hell is wearing a jacket in the first place? But during the first chill of fall, conditions are ripe for wearing a guy's jacket over your shoulders, and having him remain perfectly toasty in just his sweater. It's a magical, seasonal moment.

5. Drink red wine. Nothing like grabbing drinks in fall and enjoying the rich sexiness of a glass (or two) of red wine at an intimate little bar table or even a terrace. Rosé and cocktails are great in the summer months, but there's something undeniably sultry about enjoying some red wine for two, ideally with crusty bread/cheese/meat.

6. Wear a shawl-collar sweater. It's the ultimate Hot Dad Vibe sweater, and oddly gives off the same effect as a suit, only in cozy sweater form.

7. Pick sexy his and hers Halloween costumes. Sure, it's always fun to go as things like a plug and an outlet, or Teletubbies, or other unsexy, foam-based things. But it's also nice to go in costumes that both of you are even more attracted to than normal. No reason not to use the excuse of the holiday to go as Roger and Joan, or Clark Kent and Lois Lane.

8. Draw you a warm bath. The absolute hottest thing a guy could do on an evening when you're staying home while he goes out is draw you a hot bath with some nice candles around the tub so you can relax while he's gone. A guy that knows his way around bath salts (and remembers to give the tub a cleaning before he fills it) is a true autumn keeper.

9. Decorate for Halloween with you. Why is there something so sexy and wonderful about setting up decorations with your guy? Last year, my boyfriend I each carved a little wonky pumpkin for our apartment and lit candles in them, and it is to this day one of my favorite memories – it's simple, hands-on, and both childish and mature at the same time.

10. Sit side-by-side with you at a bistro table. The in-front-of-the-restaurant little bistro tables that demand couples sit side-by-side are the perfect fall date spot. In summer, it's weird and sweaty to sit that close to each other, and in winter, it's way too fuckin cold to be out there. In fall, though, people-watching with a cappuccino or hot toddy in hand is an ideal way to spend a weekend afternoon.

11. Go to a fall farmer's market. Browse the baked goods while your lady browses your goods.

12. Make some comfort food. Look, I know that a lot of guys are allergic to the idea of preparing things in the kitchen, but the utter sexiness of a guy who can whip up a good meal is so underrated. And no moment is better than the first really cool moments of fall, when we've been deprived of hot, slow-cooked comfort food for months on end. All you need is a crock pot and you can put something perfect for a dinner night at home with minimal effort.

13. Put up string lights over your bed. Nothing makes fall more romantic, or bedtime more sexy, than having soft string lights over/on the head of your board.

14. Grow an autumn beard. Some people might be into a year-round beard, but honestly to me that just seems like a recipe for face sweat in the summer months. The elusive autumn beard, though, is basically like a scarf for your face. It may not be my thing totally, but I definitely recognize its seasonal hotness.

15. Spend the entire day curled up under a blanket on the couch watching movies/binging on TV. Okay, yeah, this is pretty sexy year-round, but it's never more so than when the leaves are falling and it's starting to get nippy outside. When you're in love, there's nothing better than a quiet weekend day spent not leaving the comfort of your couch, and autumn is the season that turns the thermostat down to bring us all closer together. Enjoy it. TC mark

‘Shots Fired’: America Needs To Face The Truth About Guns And Mental Illness

Posted: 22 Sep 2015 12:53 PM PDT

Twenty20 / optimiss_prime
Twenty20 / optimiss_prime

Tucked away in Manhattan's Lenox Hill between Jimmy Choo and Etro is a store called Beretta. Beretta identifies itself as a lifestyle company, and walking into the store one may agree that – minus the taxidermy – it fits in well on this block of luxury brands.

The first floor has the quintessential smell of leather goods, crisply folded button downs stacked neatly on their shelves, and binoculars; a hint at what makes Beretta different from other high-end counterparts: Beretta is a firearms manufacturing company.

This is most likely not where people come to buy guns for self-defense

Beretta is also a top military firearms manufacturer for the U.S. military. According to Beretta's website, a few examples of their contracts include an order for 18,744 pistols for the U.S. Air Force in May 2012 and another order for 100,000 of their 92 FS pistols for the U.S. Army in September 2012.

Because of the strict New York City laws regulating firearms, this particular store only carries shotguns and rifles for the purposes of hunting and sport, and they do not sell ammo. On the third floor, there are 300 different types of rifles and shotguns, like a 28-incher costing upwards of $3,395.

The only customer on the third floor spoke to the salesman about firing at a clay target. This is most likely not where people come to buy guns for self-defense, but the process of obtaining a gun is the same here as any gun shop in Manhattan.

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If I were to have a New York State carrying permit (which may take a day to six months pending wait times similar to the DMV), an extra four grand in my pocket, and wanted that 28-incher, I would grab my gun and fill out the two page 4473 ATF disposition form, an employee would phone the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (some stores use the NICS's e-check system online), the employee would relay the information on the form as asked, and then would be given one of the following verdicts for me: approved, denied, or delayed.

The reason for these verdicts will not be revealed to the employee or the customer, and if approved, the customer may walk out of the store with their new gun. Also, it should be noted that if the FBI is unable to complete the background check within three business days, the dealer may complete the transfer by default.

The entire process takes three to five minutes, and 98.8% of people will walk out with a firearm.

In the most recent U.S. Department of Justice statistics for Background Checks for Firearm Transfers, approximately 15.7 million applicants were subject to background checks, and 192,000 (1.2%) were denied. The entire process takes three to five minutes, and 98.8% of people will walk out with a firearm.

The process described above only illustrates one way of purchasing a firearm. There is also the possibility of acquiring a gun through a private sale, which is not regulated federally – only licensed firearm dealers, like Beretta, who was in compliance, are subject to annual federal inspections (it should also be noted that some firearm dealers are not in compliance with this regulation and are not inspected annually as required by law).

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In a country where certain incidents of gun violence are known simply by citing where the homicide(s) occurred, such as Columbine, Virginia Tech, Tucson, Newtown, Aurora, Roanoke, etc., one would think there would be a more rigid process in screening artillery, especially guns purchased by mentally unstable people. Why are the regulations in acquiring guns so lenient that those who are mentally unstable are able to acquire them so easily?

This information would maybe allow for a smidgen of relief if, say, only those committing mass killings acquired their weapons through private arms dealers or even illegally, but they're not: every single incident listed above in regards to gun violence involved guns that were purchased legally. (In the Columbine incident, the gunman's girlfriend purchased the gun, so he was technically illegally using it since it was issued to her. Asimilar familial scenario occurred in the Newtown case, but all of the guns were still picked out at a store and bought at a federally licensed dealer.)

How thoroughly is the person on the other end of the phone really checking in a less than five-minute electronic exchange?

It may not be as simple as putting more thorough regulations on legal weapons so that mentally stable people may buy them for protection or recreational use and mentally unstable people will be turned away, but it's certainly somewhere to start considering that there is only one question regarding the state of the buyer's mental health.

On the simple two page 4473 ATF disposition form, it asks: "Have you ever been adjudicated mentally defective OR have you ever been committed to a mental institution?" Next to it awaits two boxes, "Yes" or "No." If you're a (medically and/or) legally insane person who wants a gun, which box are you going to check? How thoroughly is the person on the other end of the phone really checking in a less than five-minute electronic exchange?

beetlejuice

Gun laws can also be confounding since they are regulated on three different levels: local, state, and federally. When I called my local precinct and asked for some clarification regarding the gun laws, the officer told me to "Google gun laws of NYC." Through my Google search, I found that we technically do have the constitutional right to bear arms, but if you live in New York City, those laws supersede state and federal.

If you live in Dallas, Texas, your gun laws are going to be much different than a place like Santa Monica, California. Despite what the laws may be, or if you're pro- or anti-guns. I think we can agree with Leah Gunn Barrett, the Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, when she says that we need laws that will protect our citizens from gun violence. Gunn Barrett, who lost her brother to gun violence in 1999, makes the point that we, as citizens of this nation, need gun control to keep guns out of the wrong hands – the wrong hands being children, young teens, criminals, those will mental illnesses, etc.

What about the people who have guns for their protection?

What about the people who have guns for their protection? According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, (in 2004) over three quarters (76.3%) of the homicide victims knew their assailant, meaning; in a majority of cases, firearms were not used for protection against strangers. According to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention, "guns took the lives of 31,076 Americans in homicides, suicides, and unintentional shootings (2010). This is equivalent of more than 85 deaths each day and more than three deaths each hour.

Flickr / lookcatalog
Flickr / lookcatalog

Approximately 73,505 Americans were treated in hospital emergency departments for non-fatal gunshot wounds in 2010." Thirty-four percent of U.S. households in the West own guns, 35% of Midwesterners own guns, 27% of Northeasterners own guns, and 38% of Southerners own guns (Pew Research Center, 2014). "If guns made us safer, we'd be the safest country on the planet," said Gunn Barrett.

Therefore, the privilege to have guns for recreational use or hunting is not covered under the Constitution.

The United States Constitution states (in our 2nd Amendment) that "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Therefore, the privilege to have guns for recreational use or hunting is not covered under the Constitution. The Constitution only states that we do have a right to bear arms, but the pretense is that we hang onto them and only truly use guns as a necessity to the security of a free state. Gunn Barrett concurs, "We seem to have forgotten the well-regulated militia part of it."

Gun violence painfully continues to make headlines. The victims include people who were watching a movie, going to school, or doing their jobs and had their lives cut short simply because someone else who was not mentally stable somehow legally gained access to a gun and exercised their power of artillery.

beetlejuice

Owning a gun is a great power. "With great power comes great responsibility." Ironically, these words were written in Stan Lee's Spiderman and said by Uncle Ben Reilly, who is ultimately [fictionally] shot and killed on the street by a burglar over a scuffle for his wallet. We do live in a country that allows us the great power of owning a weapon. We, as citizens, need to decide that it's time to institute policies that equal the weight and responsibility a gun entails. We need to go back to the drawing board because what we're doing right now, it's not working.

Those who are mentally stable enough and want to own a gun for their protection and recreational use would undoubtedly not mind an hour or so background check to ensure their safety and the safety of others. There may be people in this country that could handle the weight of owning a gun; it's the other people, those who cannot possibly fathom the delicateness of a human life because logic is overshadowed by mental illness – those are the people who shouldn't have access to firearms if they want one.

We, the people, need to decide who is allowed to own that gun, to pick it up and give it power, to aim, shoot, and fire.

All gun incidents are premeditated. You did, unsurprisingly, buy the gun before the incident. The issue is gun violence, the action of using that gun in an instant, emotional reaction with an irreparable result. Guns are inanimate objects with no power.

We, the people, need to decide who is allowed to own that gun, to pick it up and give it power, to aim, shoot, and fire. We, the people, need to implement rules that ensure that gun control is met with great care and that a significant amount of thought goes into who is allowed to possess a firearm.

It's really easy to say let's get rid of all of the guns, but that's unrealistic and implausible. What's hard is what will have lasting effects on our country, what we have to deal with right now: Which is figuring out how to impart the responsibility of owning a gun to that owner in a process that should be more thorough than three to five minutes. Because depending on who picks up the gun, the end result could mean the termination of someone's life. TC mark

Good Evening, Idiot Hookers: Let’s Liveblog The Scream Queens Premiere Together

Posted: 22 Sep 2015 02:33 PM PDT

Scream Queens
Scream Queens

Pumpkin-flavored beer is in the fridge, fall officially starts tomorrow, and tonight is the premiere for “American Horror Story” creator Ryan Murphy’s brand new horror comedy series. In case you aren’t aware, this is a perfect storm of things I love. So I’ve decided to liveblog every episode of “Scream Queens” in realtime — which should be especially fun, as this show looks like a murderous romp through sorority houses in wobbly high heels! Let’s solve the mystery together, shall we?

Instagram Photo

I’ve got my MacBook fired up, a glass of chardonnay, and a reluctant husband who is no doubt going to love this show as much as I do. Let’s get pledged, brothers and sisters!

September 22, 2015

Episode 1: Pilot

The first tweet from Ryan Murphy regarding “Scream Queens” as the premiere begins. Looks like we have our theme for the season!

We begin in 1995, a whopping 20 years ago. (God I feel old.) Some serious shit has gone down at this party and it’s not just the crimes against fashion.

“I am not missing ‘Waterfalls’ for this. ‘WATERFALLS’ IS MY JAM.” I am already fully in love with this show.

Original Victim: Sorority Girl In Tub.

Okay, important note: Cathy Munsch was promoted to dean after the previous dean passed away, radio in the tub. Hmmm.

Ahhh, our first appearance of The Red Devil! And the whole spray tan scene was definitely a huge reference to the shower scene from “Psycho”. I like the throwback. Something we’ll continue to see? Anyway, Red Devil Victim #1: Melanie Dorkess.

A Sideboob Mixer and a White Party. No comment.

So wait, Curly Blonde Grace is definitely Bathtub Baby right? This could also be a big red herring. The timeline doesn’t match up but her age could’ve been flubbed to make up for the tragedy of her death. We’ll find out eventually, I’m sure, probably when we see the photo of her mother she mentioned.

Can I say how happy I am the main character doesn’t seem to be one of those “meh-I’m-so-much-cooler-than-all-this-stuff” waifs like Anna Kendrick in “Pitch Perfect”?

Very ominous shot of Grace. Is she really excited to pledge or out for revenge? Plus, fantastic Halloween reference via score and the lurking Red Devil behind the bushes. Loving these Easter Eggs so far.

And that leads us to our first commercial break! What do you think so far?


Oh no, all-inclusive guidelines! Mean girls hate that. From what I know. I wasn’t exactly the sorority type. (Shocked? I’m sure you’re not.)

Ok, so 90s Lady Whose Name I Missed is most definitely from the original sorority from the beginning tragedy. I’m guessing the one who held the baby and touched the dead girl’s eye. Gross.

Of course his name is Chad and I love that whatever Jonas that is loves him. Perfection. Also Chad gives off a distinct Knox Overstreet vibe.

Hey now don’t knock the PSL. It is indeed a white girl drink but I love it.

Who saw that coming re: the deep fryer? Everyone? Good.

Secondary/Accidental Victim: Mrs. Bean.

Nothing like a little Murder Secret To Take To Your Death to kick off the school year! And we’re on our way through another commercial break.


Oh shit Munsch is boning Chad Overstreet (which is what I’m calling him from now on thank you very much). Good for her, though JLC is a total silver fox. And we’re 40 minutes in, BOOM, there’s Ryan Murphy’s textbook Mommy Issues Plot Line!

Barista Boy gives me a Patrick Bateman kind of feel. Maybe he’s Bathtub Baby? So many opportunities for nicknames in this show.

“I got my first boner watching ‘Faces of Death’.” Oh, Chad Overstreet, we are gonna have some fun, I can tell.

Well, look at that Ariana Grande, you were dumb enough to open the door. You deserve what you get. However, this text exchange is HILARIOUS. “I’m going to kill you now.” If only all guys could be so direct. Red Devil Victim #2: Chanel Number 2.


I get so mad when I watch college movies/television shows, they all have so much better clothes than I do! Even the poor ones!

“You’re so confident without being mean! What antidepressants are you on?” Can I get that tattooed on my face?

I still think Grace seems a little too chummy to not be suspicious…

Red Devil Victim #3: Deaf Taylor Swift. Shake it off, indeed.

Lots of death obsessions this season. Makes sense…? I do love Psychotic Neck Brace Rachel Berry though.

Leaving the body in the freezer seems to be a poor choice. What else is in that freezer? Secret passageway maybe?

Not gonna lie, I love Niecy Nash. I would pay her to hang out with me and just say delightful sassy things but I think I could only afford 45 seconds — what a glorious 45 seconds it would be! DENISE HEMPHILL!

This score… are we in “The Breakfast Club” now? Everyone is so blasé about all the death and dead bodies!

Episode 2: Hell Week

Slam that scotch, Munsch, you queen!

Grace’s dad is awful suspicious, too, but now I just think everyone is suspicious. You all murder. EVERYONE LOVES TO MURDER.

Okay, the party mix, is that a throwback to Grace’s dad making her a mix for the ride to college? HMMM. Speculation all around.

And no one ever washed that tub? Really? Not even a little? And the clothes, burn them, JFC! Everyone loves to murder but is rull bad at it.

OH SHIT Bean AND Munsch knew about the Bathtub Baby? Great twist, man oh man. So maybe Bean is still alive?


Chad Overstreet and Neck Brace need to hook up. They both love corpses so much. It’s a match made in hell.

“Are you gonna touch my wiener or are you gonna leave my wiener alone?” Gold.

Hmm. Interesting. So the Red Devil isn’t Barista Boy but also didn’t kill him when he had the chance. MYOB – Mind Your Own Business. My bets are one of those names he found is 90s Lady Whose Name I Missed, an original Kappa sister.

Wait, how could everyone not realize the college mascot was a devil? Hmmm.


I love how Ryan Murphy can poke fun at the gay community without being hurtful and also pointing out how dumb people sound when they ARE hurtful towards gay people. It’s a good thing.

I feel like something bad happened at a Best Buy parking lot and I don’t know about it and I feel dumb.

Okay, Gigi is 90s Lady Whose Name I Missed. And Pete is Barista Boy. I will continue to figure this out. Names are important!

More mentions of playlists. “I have a thing for playlists! I’m Mister Playlist.” That was what Grace’s dad just said, and now I know that was his mix CD in the trunk in the basement. Fo sho.

This hazing looks awful. I’d be out so fast. Also mayo is gross and I’m uncomfortable enough with my own body as it is. And who really matches their bra with their underwear GRACE?

Did this Red Devil attack really happen or is Chanel an unreliable narrator?

Hmm! Interestingly enough, you can see from the above screenshot the trailer had the blood reading “KAPPA WILL DIE” instead of “SLUTS WILL DIE”. I wonder why?

“SHONDELL WHY YOU GOT A KNIFE IN YOUR THROAT?!” Excellent question Denise. Red Devil Victim #4: Shondell.


So Ryan Murphy enjoyed this Jonas workout montage quite a bit I’m sure.

That didn’t last long. Red Devil Victim #5: Boone.

This back-and-forth at the table is classic. No one knows who the killer is, maybe not even Ryan Murphy at this point. But oh boy will it be fun to try to figure it out.

There’s something to be said about the missing bodies. Where are they going?

AHHHHHH WUT WUT WUUUUUT! Looks like I have to take it back: Red Devil Victim #5: Boone — more like Red HERRING Victim!

So now we’re dealing with “American Horror Story: Coven” rules. No one is dead, even if you think they’re dead. GOD DAMMIT RYAN MURPHY.

Well, that’s Scream Queens Episode 1: Pilot and Episode 2: Hell Week. What did you think? Any theories yet? See you next week for Episode 3: Chainsaw! TC mark

The Pressure Of Being A Bridesmaid In A Culture Obsessed With Wedding Perfection

Posted: 22 Sep 2015 09:13 AM PDT

MNStudio
MNStudio

When I am in a social situation with a group of women my age, the conversation almost always turns to weddings at some point. Not because women are vapid and two-dimensional and obsessed with getting married, but because weddings are a large part of our lives right now. We’re all going to bachelorette parties and bridal showers. We’re blocking out many of our weekends months in advance, so that we can schedule flights and get time off work and reserve hotel rooms. We’re going to weddings and we’re in them and some of us are having them. It’s just natural that we end up talking about it.

But one point of focus that comes up time and time again is the experience of being a bridesmaid: the excitement of being asked, the relationship to the bride, the details of the wedding, etc. But most of all, the discussion is about the absolute stress that comes with this honored position.

I’ve been in two weddings in my life – both times, I was an eight-year-old flower girl for two of my aunts who got married within a couple months of each other. I wore a dress that made me look like a cream puff, but overall, it was a gentle introduction into what it’s like to be in a wedding party. I obviously had zero responsibilities, so I spent both evenings slugging back Shirley Temples like I was the Head Bitch In Charge. As an adult, I haven’t yet experienced the role of ‘bridesmaid,’ but I have an endless amount of family members, friends, coworkers, and friends-of-a-friend who have no shortage of stories about the stresses of being in a wedding.

Am I in a position to write about this experience, then? Now is a better time than ever; the fact that I've not yet been a bridesmaid gives me the perspective of an outsider, one who can look at this phenomenon with curiosity and neutrality. But at the same time, it's such a personal topic for me, because so many people I know have shared with me such specific and intimate details from their experiences. This isn't a professional anthropologic study on the nature of being a bridesmaid. But it's real. It's a discussion about real stories from real women of all different ages, backgrounds, and experiences. Some that I know, some that I've never met before, some that I've been connected with through a friend of a friend. And they all have something to say about what it feels like to be a woman in the age of wedding grandiosity.

In their purest form, weddings are meant to be a celebration of love and commitment surrounded by family and friends. And the majority of the time, they are that way. Of the 15 or so women I spoke to for this piece, practically all of them said that their favorite part of being a bridesmaid was being able to witness – in such a close-up and personal way – all of the love, joy, and support floating amongst the couple and their family and friends. Even women like Elizabeth*, 27, who has been in 4 weddings and will be in another 4 this upcoming year – and who has been through her fair share of intense, demanding weddings – said it’s a special thing to witness. According to her, “No matter the circumstance of the wedding, I have always been able to feel palpable love at one point or another in the ceremony and/or reception. I am not a super sappy person, but I love seeing people I care about happy.”

The Cost of Being a Bridesmaid

Witnessing that joy and happiness up close, while special, often comes at a price – literally. When I asked about the least enjoyable thing about being a bridesmaid, nearly every woman mentioned the financial burden. When I asked each of them to give me an average of what they spent on each wedding, nearly everyone said between $1,000 and $1,500. The highest I heard was $2,500. The lowest I heard was actually nothing: Katherine, 27, was the only white woman in a wedding ceremony for an Indian bride and groom, and according to her, “It was in town so I did not have to travel. Purvi [the bride] and her mother took a trip to India right after she got engaged to buy all the clothing that would be needed for the wedding including the bridesmaid outfits since everything would be much cheaper in India. Her aunties found different outfits I could wear to all the events (three days of events) and had me fitted into clothes they already had.”

Funnily enough, of the rare answers I received that included low spending averages (or in Katherine’s case, none at all), they all contained explanations. Either the bride didn’t care about “specifics and shit” or the weddings that someone had been in “were all local, thankfully.” One woman said, “$500 would be a good estimate for the weddings I've been in lately and that’s modest.” Each of the women who gave low numbers seemed like they needed me to know why it was so low; like they thought they needed to give me specifics in order for the answer to be believable.

So why are things getting so expensive? Many women discussed the amount of tiny details involved in being a bridesmaid that just slowly start to add up: travel (possibly for both the wedding weekend and the bachelorette weekend), bridal shower gift, bachelorette party gift (plus dinner, alcohol, hotel rooms, etc.), a bridesmaid dress, alterations (which can run between $20 and $100). And those are just the staples. Depending on the bride’s preferences, you may also have to get your hair and makeup done (and of the women I talked to, “$75 for each beauty service” was an answer that came up frequently), purchase shoes that match everyone else’s, get a manicure and pedicure with the whole group, potentially participate in a lingerie party, etc.

The Endless Requirements for an Honored Position

According to Elizabeth, “I just hit 5 years out of college, and brides are starting to ask for separate bachelorette weekends, whereas the weddings I was in right out of college did not have an extra weekend trip built in — these have been a lot more expensive, whether I am the Maid of Honor or not.”

Lisa*, 27, who has been in 5 weddings and will be in another this fall, said something similar. “The bachelorette party is always a struggle because it has to be a weekend away now, not just a night, and coordinating schedules with all the bridesmaids gets really frustrating.” She’s had some particularly challenging experiences with this new expectation, after being the Maid of Honor for a bride who said multiple times, regarding all aspects of the wedding, that “if it’s not perfect, it’s a failure.” During an extremely stressful bachelorette party, the bride “started yelling at everyone at the end” because it “wasn’t as scandalous as she thought it was going to be. She had wanted to go to strip clubs and I [Lisa] didn’t realize that this way extremely important to her.” Lisa had planned the party around all of the bride’s other specifications and ‘strip club’ was the one thing that was left out. “Apparently that was unacceptable,” Lisa said.

Lisa was then forced to plan the bridal shower alone, as the bride had alienated almost all the other bridesmaids.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had that much acne in my adult life than I did planning that shit alone and cooking all the food. [The bride] loved it, so that one worked out, but the month leading up to it just about killed me.”

As Alex*, 24, was in the middle of a 12 hour drive to New York for a bachelorette party, the friend who was planning the weekend “said everyone had to pony up a couple hundred dollars for a TWO night bachelorette party. I was furious; expenses are not a big deal when you give people enough time to plan for them, but telling me that as I’m literally on my way up? It’s this lack of sensitivity that drives me insane from brides and weddings.”

Many think that the pressure of being in weddings is just continually increasing. Casey*, 27, who has been in seven weddings and has another two coming up, said, “I think unfortunately, it is only getting worse. Comparison comes into everything and it almost seems like people’s engagement year carries the same hype as their birthday, but it’s extended over several months or even a year!”

She lamented that “everyone’s finances are different, but you are forced to prove your loyalty to your friend by participating the most, buying the cutest lingerie, etc.”

In one of the weddings she was in, the bridesmaid dresses cost nearly $400 a piece, along with “the expectation that hair and makeup need[ed] to be done as well.”

Obviously, not every bride is asking her bridesmaids to buy dresses that are several hundred dollars, along with everything else they have to shell out money for. But even the most economical of choices can sometimes be a couple months’ worth of, say, utility bills. As one bridesmaid casually put it, “I spent $175 on my bridesmaid dress… which was on discount.” It takes a lot of financial planning, whether the bride is extremely particular about her choices or if she is the most relaxed person on the planet.

When I asked if any of these women have ever been able to reuse any of their dresses [or accessories] for other occasions, here are some of the answers I got back:

  • “The dresses have never been re-worn. The biggest issue is the colors….royal blue (2 were royal blue), champagne, baby pink, fuchsia…they’re just colors that scream bridesmaid.”
  • “No.”
  • “Nope! Or at least not yet. The wedding I was in in the spring has a beautiful dress I could wear to other more formal events, and I made sure to buy shoes that I loved.”
  • “I’ve worn 3 bridesmaid dresses from three different weddings, all in the same color. And none were ‘suitable’ to shorten and wear again.”
  • “I am going to re-wear a pair of shoes I had to buy for one wedding in a different wedding. Does that count?”

Out of curiosity, I asked my Aunt Meggie what she generally spent on weddings as a bridesmaid when she was in weddings throughout the late 80’s into the early 2000’s. Her answer matched many of the other women I interviewed: “between $1,000 and $1,200.” She did tell me that “back then everyone traveled to the salon together but paid separately. Most people then applied their own makeup.” Maybe it was simpler several years ago; it seems that it was less common for everyone to (be required to) get professional hair, makeup, manicures, pedicures, etc. Though, to be fair, being a bridesmaid in the 80’s did come with problems of its own. “My hair was so hair sprayed that my fingers were getting stuck in the Aqua Net.”

The Complicated Recipe For Wedding Bliss 

Apparently it’s not just the finances that are stressing bridesmaids out lately. It’s the overall expectation that comes with the one (sometimes one-and-a-half) year commitment. Besides the amount of money you’re spending, being a bridesmaid also involves clearing your schedule for a large number of events, taking days off work, having a lot to do the weekend and/or morning of the wedding, etc.

To be fair, it’s not all necessarily negative. A lot of the women I spoke to said the strain of being a bridesmaid has a lot to do with wanting the day to be wonderful for the bride. As Ruqayyah, 27, said, “I love making the bride feel like a queen while [I feel] like a princess. It literally feels like you’re royalty – you have a special role at all the wedding activities, you get special treatment at the wedding/reception itself, and you get to be (almost) as beautiful as the bride.”

Alex told me she loves the quiet, unexpected wedding moments she gets to share with the special women in her life. Right before the wedding ceremony started for her best friend, the bride pulled her aside and said, “I have to pee, if I try and walk down the aisle I will pee myself!” Alex had to check that the coast was clear, and then “we picked up her dress and ran down the hallway to the bathroom. Of course this is in the opposite way of the ceremony, so we did startle a few guests thinking that the bride was running away from the wedding. Little silly moments like that with your closest friends, you remember forever.”

Grace*, 25, who was recently a bridesmaid in her brother’s wedding, said she loved “seeing the bride have an incredible sense of calm, after freaking out for months, on the actual day of the wedding. It was kind of amazing to see the way she finally let loose.”

But it seems that the (hopefully) perfect 24 to 48 hours of a wedding weekend often involves a lot of pressure and anxiety in the months leading up to it. As Lisa bluntly phrased it, “There’s something really nice about knowing all the bullshit is behind you and everything you have stressed over is passed and this is the ‘why’ for all of the stress.” Elizabeth said of one of her experiences that the bride “was someone I saw on at least a weekly basis and whose marriage I felt I was very much a part of/very supportive of. We have remained very close since the wedding, though I would be lying if I didn’t say there were times during the planning process where I was more than a bit stressed out because of wedding-related things.”

Emotional Resonance vs. Overwhelming Duty

The majority of these women had no issues with the idea of being there to support the bride on her big day, and to do as much as they could to make her feel calm and happy. What many of them seemingly struggled with were the moments in which the bride lost sight of what the emotional resonance of having bridesmaids is really about. Lisa told me that when one of her friends got married, the bride didn’t want the mother-in-law involved at all, which was especially awkward, as the mother-in-law (who only has sons) really, really wanted to be involved as much as possible. “I actually had to pull her aside the day of the wedding and tell her to stay away from [the bride] until the reception because [the bride] didn’t want her in the bridal room with her.”

Nicole*, 25, had a very hard time with this when she was in a wedding for a close friend last summer. Prior to the wedding, she was asked to pick up one of the other bridesmaids from the airport, and she had no problem saying yes. However, when a list-minute family issue came up, Nicole asked the bride if she knew of anyone else that could pick up the other bridesmaid. But the bride “expressed to me that she thought I was being ‘selfish and rude’ to even ‘bother her with this.’  (It was still about a week before the wedding).  She later told me that after discussing the situation with her fiancé, they decided they ‘wouldn’t continue to be disappointed in me’ as long as I paid for that girl’s taxi.  None of the other bridesmaids were reprimanded for not offering to help, or asked to pay for taxi money. I suppose the thing that bothered me most was that I was essentially being punished for offering to do someone a favor.”

Elizabeth, along with Nicole and many others, has also felt the frustrations from this sort of behavior. “One bride had someone step on her dress and cause a tiny smudge before the ceremony while we were taking pictures. She started crying and cried all of her professional make up off, and we had to re-apply it for her.” Alex faced a similar situation when the bridal party was taking pictures in the main hallway leading to the ceremony. The bride “started to freak out and get really upset because people were stopping to look and it was before the ceremony. So we had to rush her back upstairs, and calm her down so she wouldn’t ruin her makeup.”

Grace told me that one of the hardest things about her brother’s wedding, as a gay woman, was watching her sister-in-law-to-be stress out for months over such small, insignificant aspects of the wedding, especially when Grace herself couldn’t even get married yet (the wedding occurred before the SCOTUS ruling on gay marriage). The bride's stress underscored how many engaged people take for granted the special meaning of committing yourself to another person. “I understand wanting to have a beautiful, wonderful wedding that will create amazing photos, but all I really want is to wear a comfortable dress and marry my wife.”

Being a Woman of Color in a Predominantly White Wedding

No matter how much you love the bride, no matter how happy you are to participate in this day, there can be a lot of situations that cause women to feel helpless and uncomfortable, especially when you’re in a wedding in which you’re one of the only minorities. When she was a bridesmaid for her friend’s wedding in Texas, Ruqayyah “was the only bridesmaid of color (and pretty much the only person of color at the wedding).” On the day of the ceremony, she said that the hairstylists “styled my hair like Oprah and put a choker on my head like a crown – completely different from everyone else’s style, and totally distracting for a bridesmaid to wear. I had a great friend in the bride though – she took one look at my hair before the ceremony, and without me having to a say a thing she rushed me over to the hairdressers and asked why my hair was different from every other bridesmaid. When they couldn’t give her an answer, she demanded they fix it and let them know she was not happy. It was the sweetest ‘Bridezilla’ moment I’ve ever experienced.” I found it a really touching story as well, that even in the middle of the chaos, this bride was looking out for all her close friends. But it also shows that even with the best bride in the world, things can get uncomfortable.

Alex, who is Latina and African-American, said that for the most part “I tend not to give much thought to being the only woman of color in my friends' weddings, because I of course love my friends and it’s never been that big of a deal.” But she also pointed out that “with non-white weddings, usually there isn’t any awkwardness from family members about your skin tone. A great example is that one of the weddings I was in, all the sister of the groom could talk about was how I was ‘black’ and didn’t understand how I would fit in the wedding party.” In another wedding in which the bride asked everyone to wear pantyhose, “a bridesmaid asked if they even make pantyhouse for black people.”

She also attended a recent bachelorette party where everyone was given a shirt to wear displaying a Disney princess. The planner assured everyone that she picked each woman’s shirt based on her personality. “Being one of the only women of color at the celebration, which princess do you think I got to be?” She spent the night wearing a shirt displaying Princess Tiana, even though, “based on our personalities, anyone would know that Tiana and I are not kindred spirits.” And somehow, it got worse. “There was another girl in the group who was not white… just guess what princess she got to be?”

Alex and this other woman were the only two women at the party who had the same shirt. Everyone else had their own (white) princess.

“It made me feel pretty awful. Because of my skin tone I got put into this little box and wasn’t allowed to be anything else.”

Straight vs. Gay Weddings: How Does the Experience Differ for a Bridesmaid?

Clearly women are experiencing tension in all different types of situations. But what about weddings between two women – are they twice as stressful for everyone involved, or significantly less pressure-filled because they’re more of a break from traditional ceremonies? Mo, 25, was the Maid of Honor in her sister Meg’s wedding to longtime girlfriend Robyn this past summer. She told me “nothing seemed ‘different’ [about their wedding] and nothing seemed to surprise me. They planned their wedding the way I think everyone should. They didn’t have to follow any ‘rules’ or try to follow tradition – they did exactly what they wanted.”

There were some obvious fun differences, though: “For their bachelorette party I got their celebrity crushes made into life-size cardboard cut-outs. Beyonce and Jessica Chastain made it to their party and wedding. Also, when else would you be able to play with boob balloons at the bar and kind of get away with it?”

The wedding itself “was so refreshing. The ceremony wasn't stuffy at all, and you didn't feel like a robot. As in: it's time to go to the ceremony, now it's time to get herded into the cocktail hour, now you must eat your 3 course meal and fill yourself up, now you can dance and drink (finally).”

Maybe some of the ease was due to the fact that they did stay away from some traditional practices? “Meg and Robyn have a lot of the same friends, so making a big bridal party would be too complicated.  They each had one maid of honor; I stood up with Meg, and Robyn's sister, Dana, stood up with her.  There were no groomsmen at the wedding.  The brothers of the brides walked the mothers up the aisle and the dads walked up Meg and Robyn at the same time.  It was beautiful and a goosebumps kind of moment for everyone.”

Mo does think that in terms of the overall straining of planning, “It was somewhat easier since there were two brides, but holy cow it takes a ton of planning and pressure no matter what. Meg and Robyn did have a bit of nervous belly, but they got each other through it. They play off each other's strengths so Meg had ALL the excel documents and schedule down to the last minute while Robyn would focus on other wedding details. They both wanted a stress-free wedding, and act like they were just throwing one big party.”

She’s aware that her bridesmaid situation isn’t super common, though. “I think I'm going to need a reality-check the next wedding that I'm in because not every wedding is going to be that perfect (ok, I'm biased). I had several people tell me at the wedding ‘YOU SUCK’ because I got to pick out my own bridesmaid dress, hair, shoes, and jewelry. Meg and Robyn didn't give me any hard rules or things I had to wear…. they honestly just wanted me to show up. We always joked about who would be bridezilla, but they never got crazy or really stressed about the small things.”

But as lovely as Mo felt this wedding was, she doesn’t think her sister and her sister-in-law were completely free of issues during the process. “I think the thing that stressed them out the most was pressure from the family and coordinating everything to the last minute.  They made a promise to each other that they wanted to actually spend time together at their reception, because most brides/grooms always say they didn't spend any time together at their own wedding.” Apparently even in the smoothest of processes, bringing everything together is no easy task.

Sloane*, 26, was also a bridesmaid in a wedding between two brides – two of her best friends. There were bridesmaids on both sides: Bethany’s* bridesmaids wore green and dubbed themselves “Team Elephant” while Andrea’s* bridesmaids wore blue and dubbed themselves “Team Lion.” Bridesmaids from each side were paired together as they walked down the aisle. She said that having two brides “was not more stressful, but that’s also because these two women are very low maintenance and their wedding was very DIY. I can totally see how it could be way more stressful with two brides who are less earthy and easy going.”

There were definitely some things the brides had to deal with that straight couples do not: “I HATED when the wedding planner asked Andrea if they wanted the officiant to pronounce them ‘wife and wife’ or ‘husband and wife.’ Andrea is a woman – there is no denying it. Yes, she wore a suit, and yes, her bridesmaids were referred to as the bridegroom’s mates at times, but she is not lacking in femininity nor has she/or will she ever express a desire to be anything but herself – a woman who on her wedding day, and at most formal events, prefers and feels more comfortable in pants than a dress.”

When I asked her how she felt her experience was in comparison to her friends who have been bridesmaids in straight weddings, she thought hers was “better. Slightly more stressful in that I had a lot of responsibilities beyond the typical bridesmaid duties given the DIY nature of the wedding. But also way more special – every wedding picture I ever see of Bethany and Andrea, I will know that I arranged the bouquet. It’s cheesy, but an honor to be able to have that much influence on your friends’ special day.”

In terms of the pressure women feel to have a beautiful wedding, whether it’s a bride and groom or two brides, Mo said that “Many women are wired to compare/compete with each other in every way. I have felt the pressure at times, but being so close to Meg and Robyn and seeing their ‘I don’t give a crap what people think’ attitude inspired me. It’s one day and you should not care if your great aunt doesn’t like the food or you cousin hated the music the band is playing. It’s your day!”

A Non-Western Wedding Perspective

Is all this stress and chaos – particularly, for bridesmaids – exclusive to traditional western weddings alone? Taj*, 25, said, “As an Indian girl who has more experience with Indian weddings, being asked to be a bridesmaid has no meaning to me. In Indian culture, getting married/the wedding is one of the most important parts of a person’s life. As a bride’s sister or close female cousin, you have specific responsibilities to like hang out with the girl all week but that’s about it. There’s no obligation to do…anything.”

Taj told me that Indian weddings don’t traditionally have bridesmaids, but her friend’s Indian/western blended ceremony did. “The bride ‘walked down an aisle’ to the ceremonial area, and the bridesmaids entered before her (this is a western thing). I really liked being part of a joint ceremony like that. I was ‘in’ my sister’s wedding too… which was mostly Indian (Muslim), partly Iranian (also Muslim). I didn’t really find either situation particularly overwhelming.”

But Taj has also had experiences as a bridesmaid in traditional western weddings of some of her friends. And when it came to comparing the two, she said, “I think there’s a lot more fun involved by being an Indian ‘bridesmaid.’ In Indian weddings, it’s tradition for the bride’s sisters/cousins [or in her friend’s case, the bridesmaids] to steal the groom’s shoes and only give them back after getting money. No cool stuff like that in American weddings.”

In a Muslim wedding ceremony, the Imam (the person performing the ceremony) will come to the bride and groom separately to read the marital contract and have them sign it. During her sister’s nikkah (the formal title for this ritual), Taj’s entire extended family sat in the living room together. “I did nothing. But exist. Whereas in western-style weddings, we walk down the aisle before the bride and stand there awkwardly during vows and shit. I have no intention of having a bridal shower or bachelorette party whenever I get married. I think it’s excessive and it holds no meaning to me as an Indian person. I’m not going to have bridesmaids. My sisters and best friends will be physically with me throughout everything, they’ll steal my man’s shoes and demand money in return, and that’s that.”

Nithya, 25, was in a traditional western wedding for her high school best friend but has also been to multiple traditional Indian weddings for family and friends. Like many bridesmaids, the frustrating issue for her was the cost. “We had to get JCrew bridesmaid dresses which are about $250 each dress.” Although she has not yet been a ‘bridesmaid’ in an Indian wedding, she does think the desire to have a perfect wedding is making some, but not all, brides crazy – and causing them to focus less on the joy of being around loved ones.

“Most of the recent Indian weddings that I’ve been to are starting to resemble Bollywood movie weddings. Brides seem to lose focus on the big picture of a wedding and instead spend hours obsessing over the minute details.”

And while it’s not really common to have bridesmaids in an Indian wedding, she said “it’s been happening a lot more lately because of western influence and Indian people getting married in the US.” But she’s hopeful about how her experience will turn out: “I think the pressure is less for me. Since I want to have an Indian wedding, my American friends don’t know what’s it’s supposed to be like. I feel like I have a little bit more leeway when it comes to planning my event.”

What’s the Root Cause of This Insanity?

Five years ago, when I was 20 and didn’t know anyone getting married except “older people,” I would have said that these situations only happen when you’re in a wedding with a selfish, attention-crazed bridezilla. It’s just easier that way – to make everything black and white, to say that there are good brides and bad brides. But now my mindset is completely different. Tons of these crazy stories are about brides who are incredible women. Kind women. Smart women. Wonderful friends. I know an endless amount of people that have been in weddings for people whom they absolutely love and cherish, but who caused them more stress, frustration, and financial burden than they would have ever expected.

So is this all a problem because every single bride is now greedy, shallow, and self-involved? Or is it a product of the larger, more dangerous beast that is the wedding industrial complex?

I think some brides, regardless of the situation, are always going to be out of control, greedy, and self-involved. But that has nothing to do with weddings, or women; that’s just how some people are, male or female, in everything that they do.

So the problem, at least as far as I can tell after talking to multiple women (both in interviews for this piece and in real life conversations), is that an impending wedding often causes brides to inflict both self-imposed and societally-imposed pressure on themselves. This in turn causes them to temporarily lose sight of themselves, of their friends and family, and of reality. They’re overwhelmed by expectations from others, and expectations of themselves. They want to look perfect. And they feel like the whole world is watching, because every second of this moment in their life can now be documented and shared. And that fear, panic, and utter fixation takes a hard toll on the bridesmaids.

It’s not that things weren’t documented in the age before social media. But the photographs and videos were so much personal before The Internet. My aunt said back when she and her friends were getting married, “you had a viewing party to watch the wedding when you got it back on VHS. It was the best – it was our Facebook moments flashed in 7 hours.” You still had photographs and videos being taken throughout your wedding; but instead of posting them online for a limitless amount of people to see, you were literally selecting, one by one, the people who you shared these memories with.

But now, in comparison to 20 years ago, there is “definitely more pressure on the bride. There are so many options now and everything is posted on some type of social media: photos, destinations, choreographed dance songs. It’s cray cray for young girls.” (My aunt is very hip.)

The Pressures of Being a Bride and the Toll It Takes on Her Bridesmaids

The obsession with perfection isn’t a surprise. We live in a world where Bulging Brides is a show. WHY? I’m sure some find it entertaining, but I think it also gives off the sense that any bride who feels subconscious about the way she’s going to look on her big day is BULGING. This is just one more example of how there’s a message behind even the tiniest action: if something about your wedding is not perfect, FIX IT. Maybe I’m being overly sensitive. But I think it’s important we talk about what’s going on, because something that is supposed to be so special and lovely is causing too many brides and bridesmaids to be needlessly panicked and utterly exhausted.

It’s easy to think if the bride would just relax and not take everything so seriously, the bridesmaids wouldn’t be having these problems. But it’s not that simple. Lucy, who is getting married in the fall, pointed out, “Everyone says that it doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks, its your day. But the entire reason people have weddings and don’t just elope is to show it off to their friends and family. You can’t make everyone happy, but trying to make sure your friends have a great time while not offending your relatives but still staying true to yourself and your fiancé is a nearly impossible task.”

Stevie, 25, felt the pressures first-hand, before it even reached her bridesmaids. She got engaged as a senior in college at the age of 22. But after moving in with her then-fiancé after graduation and picking out her wedding dress, she decided to call off the engagement. Her gut was telling her it wasn’t the right decision. The hardest part was letting down her family. “My mom is a super crafty lady with impeccable taste and had been planning, making decorations and was COMPLETELY stoked for the day.” When she moved back in with her parents after ending the engagement, she said that “watching [her mom] take each of the boxes of decorations from our dining room, out of sight into the basement and move my wedding dress from my closet to hers so I wouldn’t have to see it every day was one of the most tormenting things I’ve ever had to witness. I felt like I let everyone down.”

By no means is she bitter about weddings or the general industry. When I asked if she thinks she wants to get married down the line, she said “heck yes.” But she is now much more aware of how overwhelming it can be, and how easy it is to lose yourself in the process.

“You’ve thought about this day all your life. How hard is it NOT to just go for broke and have everything you’ve ever wanted?”

When I thanked her for being willing to talk about her past engagement, she said “I know that it’s no noble cause, but if someone reads the article and it helps them even an ounce in dealing with the high pressure world we live in, I’ll count this as completely worth it.”

As Alex summed it up, “Women are taught to want the fairy tale, to be the princess of the evening. Brides will want this big, expensive, ridiculous wedding when they really can't afford it and it puts negative pressure on the wedding, and guests notice.”

The Long-Term Effects 

My intention here is in no way to chastise weddings or make them out to be events rooted in negativity. As many of these women have said, there can be a lot of really sweet parts of being a bridesmaid. Although she’s had some frustrating experiences, Alex said, “Most of the brides that I dealt with were not stressed and very kind to the wedding party.” As Ruqayyah put it, “I might be the exception to that rule that women hate being bridesmaids – I love weddings, I love to help out, and every time someone asks me to be a part of their big day I feel honored. Maybe I’ll get sick of it after a few more though – ask me again in 3 years, I’ll probably be on my 9th wedding by then.”

Lisa appreciates the fact that being a bridesmaid – while stressful – made some of her friendships even stronger. In one of her experiences, a friend from college asked her to be in her wedding, even though they weren’t particularly close with one another. “Over the course of planning her wedding, we got to be super close and I would consider her one of my closest friends now. But at the time, not really.” And as for the if-it’s-not-perfect-it’s-a-failure bride? “The year and a half of planning that [wedding] was a huge challenge to our friendship, but we are closer than ever and she’s family.” And did Nicole’s friendship suffer with her cab-fare-demanding friend? “Yes, but it was fleeting. Until this interview I didn’t think of it much.” Elizabeth shared a similar sentiment on her friendships being challenged: “Luckily not really – in most instances we get closer again after the wedding.”

When you put it this way, when you think about (most) brides as normal women, good friends, and caring people who simply get caught up in the wedding whirlwind – as opposed to thinking of them as the perfection-crazed characters of the bottomless wedding reality shows on TLC and Oxygen – it’s easier to understand why things happen the way they do. It’s easier to understand that when your friends or sisters (or even you) are talking about the insane bridal parties they’ve been a part of, they’re usually not bashing the bride they’ve always known and loved. They’re just airing out their frustrations over the person she can temporarily become when the pressure of the supposed “most important day of her life” is upon her.

Do Men Have It Easier?

We do have some other things to think about, though. Because after sitting through and participating in dozens of these conversations over the last few years, there was almost never a guy participating. It has always been women swapping stories of what they’ve been through, what they spent, how the bride behaved, the stress it cost them, etc. If there ever was a guy present, he spent most of the time looking flabbergasted and asking a lot of questions. So finances aside, when I asked these various women if groomsmen have it easier overall, here are some of the responses I received:

  • “They FOR SURE have an easier time. My brothers lounged around all morning until about an hour before the wedding, when they got dressed to take pictures.”
  • “Absolutely. Their outfits are typically the same no matter where they go. You don’t have to worry about having as many styles, cuts, or the issue of ‘will my boobs fly out?’ happen. Also, they can rent their attire! We typically have to buy. Totally bogus. Not to mention the costs of hair, nails, make up. Also, the groom typically has a more laid back role in the planning and execution of the wedding. I feel like they just show up.”
  • “The groomsmen definitely have it easier. The grooms are typically easy going, have no expectation, and they don’t need all the extras. They don’t have to worry about celebrating the groom throughout the entire year, where the bride has this assumption.”
  • “Yes absolutely they have it easier. ‘Tradition’ demands a bridal shower and all this primp and prep the day before and day-of the wedding. Groomsmen get to throw a suit on the day-of and roll up for pictures about 30 minutes in advance. “
  • “Yes. At the very least, men have an easier time getting their attire, and an easier time getting around at the wedding (see any wedding shoe ever).”
  • “Yes, the boys have it a million times easier. The same expenses are not expected of the men, they get away with renting a tux, and having to go to just one party and that’s the bachelor party. I also notice the groomsmen just don't participate in as much of the demands with decorating, making favors, arranging flowers, and all that other crap. Those requests are usually specific for the bridesmaids. Plus its not like they have to buy their tux, and pay for expensive alterations.”
  • Even my aunt, who experienced this all 20 years ago, said that “Groomsmen totally had it easier… The brides plan everything and the men don’t have to do a thing! Pick up a tux and plan the bachelor party!”

And what about finances for groomsmen? I talked to a couple different men who have each been in several wedding parties, and both had some interesting things to say. Brendan*, who’s been in 4 weddings, told me he spends around $1500 on each wedding, similar to the amount many women have given me. However, when he broke it down, a lot of it came down to travel (~$400 for airfare and $200 for a hotel). And he shared that $600 of that overall number went to the bachelor party for the “flight + hotel or house + booze and being dumb.” The leftover amount went to renting a suit or tux ($200) and a wedding gift ($100). Obviously, no dress, alterations, shoes, makeup, hair, mani/pedi, lingerie gift, bachelorette party gift, bridal shower gift, etc. When I asked him how much he thought bridesmaids spend on average, however, he did guess around “$1,000 to $1500.”

Connor*, who has been a groomsman in 4 weddings and a best man in 2, said that he usually spends around $400 or $500. He guessed that bridesmaids spend around the same amount, but “maybe more.”

While I talked to these two men about their specific experiences, I also did a broader, more general survey on Facebook, asking anyone that had ever been a groomsmen to share with me the average amount of money he spent on weddings. Through comments, private messages, and texts, the average rounded out to $820. But this was partially affected by two higher responses of $1500, as the rest of the answers generally fell between $300 and $700.

When I asked Brendan what it was like to watch the bridesmaids from a groomsman’s perspective, he said this: “They seem to have a lot more stuff to do than the guys… spend all day doing make up and getting ready. Seems like we have way more fun than them leading up to the wedding.  They have to handle a lot of the details and want everything to be perfect.” His experiences as a groomsman on the day of each wedding, compared to most of the bridesmaids I spoke to, was also seemingly a lot smoother: “Wake up and hang out, have brunch, start getting dressed early afternoon, hang out with the groomsmen and drink a little, snap pictures, wedding, rage.” Connor felt a little differently. “It really depends on the group of people. I’ve seen bridal parties stressed out like crazy, but I’ve also seen them relaxed or even half drunk. The personalities involved obviously make a huge difference in how things shape up.”

The Cycle That Won't Stop

I don’t think any of this (“this” meaning pressure, stress, frustration, fights, financial burdens, tension, expectations, obsession with perfection) is going to stop anytime soon. It’s a never-ending cycle. It’s everywhere. I'm not even engaged (sorry, Mom), but sometimes when I’m on social media and I see wedding pictures, I catch myself thinking, “Oh, that’s pretty. Eh, I don’t like that. Oh, that would be cool to have in my wedding someday.” I can’t imagine actually trying to plan a wedding right now – trying to include everything you want, making sure everyone you love has a great time without putting too much of a burden on your friends and family, staying under budget, etc.

Talking to these women has really forced me to think about how I want to treat my bridesmaids when I’m a bride someday. But it’s also shown me, in extreme detail, that nothing about planning a wedding is black and white. I’m sure everyone likes to think of themselves as the calm, carefree bride who just wants to have a nice day and enjoy the company of her loved ones. But when there’s a thousand little things to think about, in a situation where it feels like a million people are watching you, it’s not far-fetched for any of us to imagine ourselves going off the deep end and having a bridezilla moment.

Many of us have had the idea hammered into our heads – since we were children – that a woman’s wedding day is “the most important day of her life.” That it’s the day each of us is supposed to “feel like a princess” and the day that “all of our dreams come true.” And many of us have also heard over and over again about what an honor, privilege, and distinction it is to be a bridesmaid in the weddings of our closest friends. Obviously, there are a lot of very sweet and special parts involved in these two experiences. But at this point, I don’t think either one sounds like a fairytale. TC mark

*Name has been changed

25 People Reveal Their Truly Horrifying College Roommate Stories

Posted: 22 Sep 2015 07:51 AM PDT

Twenty20 / kmwill6
Twenty20 / kmwill6

1. I came back to the dorm one day to find the door locked. Luckily, I had my key this time around, so I unlocked the door. The fucker was in my chair jerking off. I didn’t speak to him very much after that.

– Danny, 25

2. I had one of those roommates that would never take their shit out of the washing machine. So one day, I decided I’d had enough of her bullshit, so I took her stuff out and put it in the dryer for her. Guess what? She flipped out on me! She screamed at me and told me to never touch her stuff again. Listen bitch, I did you a favor and you’re going to yell at me? I couldn’t wait to get out of that apartment.

– Lisa, 28

3. She basically killed my betta fish because she didn’t feed it for a week. I couldn’t believe it. I knew she was the wrong person to ask, but I had no choice! Goodbye Charlie :(

– Teddy, 25

4. We were randomly selected to be roommates — I think this was freshman year. He was a pillhead. You know the deal, sniff oxys and then drink some beers and black out. He went overboard one night and drank a little too much. Had to call 9-1-1 and he was expelled from the school.

– Kaleb, 25

5. You want to know my worst one? Okay. She was a sorority sister and she’d leave her clothes everywhere. Even her underwear. I’ve found her dirty stained underwear in the bathroom, in the hallway, in the living room. You know how disgusting that was? Oh god, we even had a house talk about it, but she kept doing it. I moved in with two of my fav sisters and thank god.

– Vicky, 27

6. He’d always eat my food from the fridge. I saw him do it one night and it ended up with a fistfight.

– Josh, 24

7. My housemate pissed on another housemate’s bed while he was blacked out. Things got rough.

– Paul, 21

8. You wouldn’t believe how disgusting my roommate was. She did this thing with plates, or anything she ate food off of, where she’d slide them under the bed and not throw them out. It got to a point where the room smelled like garbage. Me and a friend decided to throw out her ‘collection’ while she was in class. She didn’t even notice and did it again. I took to using Lysol on her bed while she wasn’t in the room.

– Jackie, 26

9. He used to take a shit with the door open. Who does that? And he didn’t even bother washing his hands after.

– Brett, 25

10. My first roommate was socially awkward. He used to get upset if anyone made a sound after 9PM. One time, I had friends over and we were playing games in the common room. This kid barges out of our room with a fucking knife and tells us to shut up. We reported him to the RA and he was transferred to a single.

– Jason, 27

11. I walked in on my roommate having sex with his girlfriend. They both looked at me and kept going.

– Rajat, 25

12. I watched my roommate funnel a 40oz, proceed to puke all over his bed and then shit in his pants. That was only a Friday for him.

– Luke, 24

13. I lived with four other guys in a house in my junior year of college. We all came to hate this one guy. I’ll call him Filth. Filth never cleaned up after himself. It got worse when winter came around and he caught the flu. He would sneeze and wipe his nose off on his hands and touch things. He’d hang around in the living room and not move until he felt like it was time to grab food or go to bed. One day, he never went back to bed. Turns out he shit in it because he was ‘too weak’ to get out of bed to use the bathroom. We made him clean it up and get the fuck out of our house.

– Ethan, 28

14. Lived with a slob. He had a skinny girlfriend. They were psychos. They’d take turns yelling at each other about everything and had incredibly loud sex. One time, the girlfriend tried to yell at me for something I don’t remember doing, but my roommate — bless his cholesterol-laden heart — defended me and she started hitting him. Crazy days man.

– Tommy, 26

15. My roommate dated a drug dealer. He actually fucking dealt his shit in our house. Fuck him and her. Fucking assholes.

– Ralph, 26

16. After my roommate broke up with his girlfriend (turns out she cheated on him), he stopped going to class, was fired from work. I felt really bad for him, so I tried to cheer him by taking him out and going out to bars. He’d always come back drunk and feeling bad for himself. One night, I woke up to him crying and I ran out to see if everything was okay. He was really bleary-eyed and I saw he’d cut himself along the wrists. I called 9-1-1 and made sure he was okay and everything. When I came back from work the next day, his stuff was gone. I haven’t seen him since.

– Tyler, 28

17. I had a roommate who’d walk around the apartment with his hands down his pants. I saw him open the fridge with his ball-scented hands and then proceed to move my stuff in there. I’d find his pubes on my soap and I’d tell him to stop, but this fucker never did. I wanted to buy crabs off the internet and sprinkle them on his bed, but that would have meant he’d be walking around scratching his fucking balls and touching my stuff.

– Alex, 27

18. I told her I was seriously allergic to cats. She adopted a cat. Surprisingly, that wasn’t the worst thing she did to me that year.

– Yasmine, 25

19. In an act of unwarranted aggression, my roommate put his dick and balls on my shoulder while I was doing my homework. He also threw a used condom at my head. Pretty sure he’s doing nothing with his life now.

– Derek, 27

20. Let’s call my roommate The Beast. She was a raging bitch from the get-go. It was a four-person dorm and two were really sweet girls. I was stuck on the other side of the room with The Beast. She’d yell at us regularly when things were ‘out of place’ and she screamed and bitched at the quiet girl in our room because she had left her ‘wet toothbrush’ on the desk. She also made up a rule where we couldn’t bring any guys into the room. The Beast would regularly interrupt us when we’d be studying and every time we brought a guy over — even if they were friends — she would audibly sigh and suck her teeth at us and make snide remarks about the guys. The three of us all moved out and got an apartment together. That was the last time I saw The Beast.

– Lara, 24

21. Dumb bitch almost burned the entire house down. She left the gas on and fell asleep.

– Nicole, 26

22. I’m dealing with this right now. My roommate has some weird disorder. Right now, he is seriously obsessed with anything that has to do with Minions. His side of the room has Minions curtains, Minions bedsheets, Minions backpack. He sometimes says things to me in Minion-speak. Please, god, save me.

– Nathan, 21

23. My fiancée’s story: she roomed with four girls when she lived in her sorority house. Three of them were total bitches and the fourth one was the nice one out of the bunch. My fiancée lived there when they moved in.

Soon enough, the three bitchy girls walked around thinking they owned the place. They ended up cracking the TV screen because they threw a party one night and things got ‘out of hand’. They broke her plates, they ruined her cookware, they never fucking paid for toilet paper. We finally got our own place together and left that dump. My fiancée said the nice girl finally ended up moving out, but that was only after the girls broke her laptop after a party.

– Janmichael, 28

24. My roommate never shut up about me being a lesbian. She held it against me.

– Maggie, 24

25. I came home one night to a house with all the lights on. I was weirded out, so I called out my roommate’s name. I didn’t hear her. So, I ran up the stairs, fearing the worst. I saw her on the bed passed out. I was scared, so I shook her awake. Turned out she was stoned out of her mind. Then I heard water running, so I ran into the bathroom across the hallway. The faucet was on full and the bathtub and the sink was overflowing. What dumb person runs both the sink and tub and forgets about it? She ruined the floor in the bathroom and the next day, the kitchen ceiling had water damage. She at least offered to pay for the damages. TC mark

– Kylie, 26