Thought Catalog


When You Grow Up Taking Care Of Your Big Sister

Posted: 17 Dec 2015 08:00 PM PST

Shutterstock / Versta
Shutterstock / Versta

You and your sister shared a room ever since you were born. In fact, she was at your birth. She said she watched you come out, but you don’t think that’s actually true. But she said she loved you right away, and you know that’s true. She would watch you sleep in your crib, and sometimes you would wake up and see a gigantic, beautiful brown eye staring at you. It would make you cry and wail hysterically until it dissolved into laughter.

As you grew older, your crib became the trundle bed to her day bed. It would get tucked away in the mornings, your existence erased. The teddy bear wallpaper, rows and rows of bears with hats in between blue dots, housed a tiny collection of her boogers that she would pick straight from her nose and wipe onto the wall. Your parents never knew until they moved out, when they were stiff and tall like a tiny forest.

She taught you about boys and weed, and was the one to pluck your eyebrows so you wouldn’t get teased for having a unibrow in sixth grade. She protected you from your mother, stood up to your friends when they were mean to you, made you a beautiful graduation cake with all of your favorite things (butterflies and purple balloons). She was the one who came out to check on you at the pool party when that boy called you fat. Your sister, the beautiful one with the perfect makeup and shiny hair, the one who had all the boys chasing her. She brought you home presents all the time, she was sweet to you, and you could never upset her, never disappoint her.

But she upset you a lot. She never ate and even lied about what she wore the other day. She stole from everyone, including you. She hid things and relapsed and went to rehab often. She told you she was going to get clean. She promised. She always promised and you always believed her.

Until the last time you stopped believing her. You didn’t even know if you could believe her when she said her friend had assaulted her, showed up at her house, grabbed her, threw her around, raped her. You didn’t believe that she was clean and sober, that she was working the steps.

You had given up on her. You couldn’t take any more ups and downs, any more disappointments. You were done with your sister. You screamed at your mother, “Why is she even here? She’s lazy, sleeping on the couch all day long. She’s not working. She’s not even paying rent. Kick her out!” You knew your sister heard you. You didn’t care. “Good, I hope she hears me!” you screamed back. You have to pay rent and you’re only 16. She’s 21. She needs to get her life together.

The night of her accident, that’s all you can think about. That last time you saw her alive you yelled not even at her, but about her. Over her. You pretended she wasn’t even there. She was invisible to you.
So you prayed and prayed even though you’re not religious. You prayed that she would make it through, if only just to tell her how sorry you are. You didn’t mean any of it. She would make it through right? She would survive flying off of a motorcycle going over 90 miles an hour, helmet sliding off, landing on her jaw, cutting her tongue, breaking her face, losing her teeth, tire tracks on her belly, skin shaved off from the pavement, brain swelling with pressure and liquid.

Your brain is swelling with pressure, but a different kind, a kind of pressure from anxiety and guilt and dread.

She ends up surviving, against all odds. She has always been so stubborn. When she comes home, two months in a coma, four months in the hospital, wheelchair bound and knowing a handful of words, she throws up almost immediately from the lasagna you made, after only one forkful. It was her welcome home dinner. You were excited to have her home. Things would be okay. But she threw up the dinner. She wasn’t used to eating solid foods, so you can’t take it personally. Did she even realize she threw up? Would this be how she’d stay, a gummy smile like a baby’s, pupils like pancakes, shaved head struggling to stay aligned with her body?

Over the years, she improves greatly. She’s walking and talking and telling jokes and making greeting cards. But she still lies and steals. She calls your mother a cunt, a whore, tells her to go kill herself, screams that she fucking hates everyone around her.

You want to be the sister that she was to you. You want to protect her and feel an alliance with her, agree and say, “Yeah, Mom is the worst!” But you know that’s not right. You worry about your sister. You feel an incredible amount of sadness. Will she ever find love? Get married? Have children? More importantly, will she ever be happy? Will she be able to live independently, without being with your mother all the time? Will she ever be able to go to school and get a job like she’s been asking about for the last 10 years?

You want so badly for her to fit in. You worry about the day she will realize she’s different. Maybe she already knows this, but hides it. Is today the day she realizes that children stare at her? Is today when she realizes people ask what happened to her, but only after she is slightly out of earshot?

You’re ready to explain. You’re ready to defend her. You’re ready to cry, to fight, to scream. But no one challenges you.

Today is the day you realize the person you are ready to fight is yourself. TC mark

The Top 10 Most WTF Moments From “American Horror Story” (So Far)

Posted: 17 Dec 2015 07:00 PM PST

It’s no secret that my favorite television show is “American Horror Story.” While the quality and theme of every season differs, there are always at least a few moments that make my jaw drop. While Hotel is still in full swing, I can’t resist revisiting some of the past seasons (and dip into the current one too.) Be warned: there are multiple MAJOR spoilers for every season so if you’re not up to date on any of them STOP NOW.


Murder House

Tate’s School Shooting

Season 1, Episode 6 – Piggy Piggy

American Horror Story
American Horror Story

This might be the all-time WTF moment for me. I don’t scare easily and this scene had me downright terrified. The lack of score, the starkness of the sound, the utter reality of it all is absolutely bone-chilling. What’s worse is that every time I watch it, I’m convinced that this is very much what it was like inside the library at Columbine that day in April. A follow-up WTF is when the SWAT team corners Tate in his room and his final actions are to mime a gun to his head and mouth “pew.” Demented. Awful. I LOVE IT.

Violet’s Dead

Season 1, Episode 10 – Smoldering Children

American Horror Story
American Horror Story

This was a twist no one saw coming (or at least I didn’t.) Maybe it was because Violet was such a whiny mopy mess the whole season she may as well be a festering corpse. Either way, when Tate led her to her own body, we were taken aback much like she was. But the plot was solid and held up: Violet was, unbeknownst to herself, forced to obey the rules of Murder House. She was now a permanent resident.

Asylum

Shelley’s Amputation/Transformation

Season 2, Episode 3 – Nor’Easter

American Horror Story
American Horror Story

Asylum is my favorite season (controversial opinion?) because to me it was the darkest, though Hotel is giving it a run for its money. It was bad enough when Dr. Arden tried to rape Shelley, but when she woke up and discovered she was missing her legs, the ante was upped BIG TIME. She slowly devolves into a hideous monster and gets dropped into a children’s playground — which, in all honesty, I find hilarious. Side note: Dr. Arden has one of my favorite quotes in the series. Do you know how fun it is to casually drop “whores get nothing” in an everyday conversation?

The Bloody Face Reveal

Season 2, Episode 5 – I Am Anne Frank Part 2

American Horror Story
American Horror Story

I love Dr. Thredson. Yes, he’s a totally insane psychopath who murders women and wears their skin, but have you SEEN those eyebrows? That jawline? I’m willing to overlook a few faults. Anyway, this is one of my favorite scenes because up until the moment you see the off-kilter shot of Thredson’s living room, there’s no reason to suspect him. He’s Lana’s savior! He’s a good doctor! But SOMETHING about the way that shot is framed put me off. “Something’s not right,” I told my husband, and sure enough, Lana ends up in the basement playing Mommy. Fantastic.

Coven

Kyle’s Relationship With His Mom

Season 3, Episode 3 – The Replacements

American Horror Story
American Horror Story

Much in the same vein as the previous scene I mentioned, the scene where Kyle’s mom enters his bedroom after he’s returned from the dead made my skin crawl. Something about the framing, the lighting, I don’t know, but for the second time I announced to my husband, “SOMETHING’S NOT RIGHT!” to which he replied, “I don’t really care.” Mare Winningham is great in this scene as an incestuous mother and Evan Peters’ thousand yard stare is painful to watch. But I also have to ask: Ryan Murphy, what’s with the running theme of mommy issues? IT’S IN EVERY SEASON.

Misty In Hell

Season 3, Episode 13 – The Seven Wonders

American Horror Story
American Horror Story

For a season that I found more campy and frustrating than anything else, I was hard pressed to find really scary scenes. Then I remembered this one. Especially after the lack of terror, it hit me in a weird place. I liked Misty. To see her in such pain and horror was awful, and when the scene began to loop, I got a horrible feeling in my stomach. Misty was going to experience this FOREVER. Then — dust. She’s going to keep cutting open that live frog for eternity and sometimes I still stare out the window and think about it.

Freak Show

Dandy’s Blood Bath

Season 4, Episode 8 – Blood Bath

American Horror Story
American Horror Story

Is there much to say about this one? Dandy goes full-on crazypants nuts after killing his mother Gloria by draining her blood into a bathtub to soak in. I wasn’t sure during this season whether I liked Dandy or hated him. I guess I felt the same way about the whole season. But shooting your mother between the eyes and then taking a little me-time in her cooling blood is pretty impressive. (I still think he and Thredson are half-brothers.)

Maggie Gets Cut In Half

Season 4, Episode 12 – Show Stoppers

American Horror Story
American Horror Story

This moment was terrifying and unexpected but HOLY GOD WAS IT ALSO THERAPEUTIC. I am NOT a fan of Emma Roberts, truth be told. Like, I enjoyed her in Coven for what she was: a one-note bitchy diva. Then in Freak Show: a one-note bitchy diva. And later, in Scream Queens: a one-note bitchy diva. I’m over it. I’m over her. So imagine my delight when Neil Patrick Harris, my delightful baby who can do no wrong, saws her in half in a moment of unhinged detachment from reality. Wonderful. And the cherry on top? Angela Bassett’s devastating line: “Steal her jewelry. And bury the bitch.”

Hotel

Vampire Orgy Massacre

Season 5, Episode 1 – Checking In

American Horror Story
American Horror Story

Um. Wow. The Countess (and, by extension, Lady Gaga) is introduced in a glamorous, over-the-top grandiose display set to a heart-thumping She Wants Revenge tune. The very picture of dark, luxurious beauty — you know, the thing I wish I possessed and never will — she and Donovan saunter down to a lawn movie showing of “Nosferatu” and pick up a choice couple for some passionate lovemaking. And after the glitter pasties and the orgasms, they slit their throats and feast on the blood. I seriously was enraptured by this scene. And even moreso when Lady Gaga — the one we were all prepared to tear apart if lacking in her replacement of Jessica Lange — delivers one of her first lines: “Call housekeeping.” I knew from that moment we were in for a treat, and so far, I have not been disappointed.

The Ten Commandments Killer Reveal

Season 5, Episode 8 – The Ten Commandments Killer Reveal

American Horror Story
American Horror Story

I’ll admit, at first I was disappointed. John was a total lock for the TCK, and in past seasons, the “reveal” hasn’t been this obvious. HOWEVER. The fact that the entire episode was based more around WHY John was chosen and HOW rather than just “It’s him! Aren’t you surprised?!” totally won me over. I am absolutely certain that the show was given a major overhaul based on past criticism because, in my opinion, all the things that were broken in the last few seasons have been not just fixed, but POLISHED. Bravo. I can’t wait to see where the rest of the season takes us. TC mark

How To Be A Total Babe

Posted: 17 Dec 2015 06:00 PM PST

Twenty20 / wendeewingfield
Twenty20 / wendeewingfield
First, understand that being a babe has nothing to do with how you look. It is anything but. It is your inner goddess. It is the birthmark on your cheek. It is embracing the impulsivity that comes with your ADHD. It is being yourself, completely and outrageously. Realize that "babe" is confusing, enticing. "Babe" has two sides to her. Two faces. She can be endearing to some and offensive to others. Realize that you have two sides to you. You are said to be loving, but cynical and sardonic as well. Own that. Carry it with you in the back of your size 26, Madewell, boyfriend jeans.

When you fall for the boy with the girlfriend, let them breakup before you make your first move. Decide that you have class and patience. When they do break up, start texting him. At night, in the morning. Do not for one second follow society's gender roles and cower out of starting the conversation first. Be bold. Be direct. Confidence is alluring. When you start talking regularly, ask him why he has not asked you out yet. Set an ultimatum. Threaten to ask him out. When he finally does ask you out on Valentine's Day, say yes. Smile when he calls you babe for the first time. Let your heart skip a beat.

When he changes his mind about you and breaks it off but tells you, “It's me, not you,” believe him. Tell him he's an idiot. Tell him he'll never find anyone better. He won't. But he doesn't know that yet. Let him figure it out on his own. In the meantime, cry. Let yourself be sad. Being a babe is not about putting on a face, it's about being genuine and letting the mascara run down your face. Lose sleep at night. Listen to your breakup playlist called “FINE.” Lose your appetite and let your mother worry. Let yourself feel this pain. Accept it and understand that one day, you will be back to normal.

When you get to college, surround yourself with good people. Make best friends with your new roommate. Tell her she is a total babe. She will thank you and let you cry to her. Cry about your ex-boyfriend and your parents divorce. Listen to Sam Smith. Drink some red wine. Go to sleep. Tuck yourself into bed like your mom used to when you were little.

Understand that you have to tuck your own self in from now on. Be okay with that.

Make yourself a cup of tea. Go back to writing. Try to remember why you stopped writing on your Tumblr page in the first place. Remember that it was because you were happy. Promise yourself that you will keep writing even when you do become happy again. Find quotes and worship Sex and the City. Tell yourself that you are Carrie Bradshaw and treat your new friends the way that Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda treat each other. Realize that girls will always come before boys. Start feeling more and more like yourself again. More and more like a babe.

Go home and focus entirely on yourself. This is not selfish, this is what you need. Make a playlist of girl power songs. Name it "fuss". You are too good for him. Say it everyday, until you believe it. Babes don't let themselves be messed with. Not by fuckboys. Not by anyone.

Travel. Buy the painting that symbolizes being selfless, but knowing when enough is enough. Feel enlightened. Go to camp and write every night before bed. Start to feel like your old self again. Feel full. When your boss tells you that you are "a tremendous staff member," believe it. Tell yourself that you are a babe for being smart, adventurous, and genuine.

When you come back to school and your ex texts you, set your standards high. Remind yourself that you have amazing friends and that you are practically back to normal. You have come so far. Babes do not mess up their own progress. Find a new quote to live by. "If a person wants to be a part of your life, they will make an obvious effort to do so. Think twice before reserving a space in your heart for people who do not make an effort to stay."

Remind yourself you cannot just be affectionate and endearing. Be hard. Be cynical, and be a little sardonic but do it because you are protecting yourself.

Rent the movie, The Way We Were with Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford. Recognize that you and Katie have a lot in common. Decide that you want to be like her. An independent, passionate, outspoken, babe. Make the connection that you have only dated Hubbell's who could not handle you because you were too much for them. Remind yourself of the Sex and the City episode where Carrie realizes she was too much for Mr. Big. Find that quote. Read it. "Maybe some women aren’t meant to be tamed. Maybe they just need to run free until they find someone just as wild to run with them."

Go out and have a good time with your girlfriends. Work hard in school. Consider minoring in creative writing because you are good at it and you like it. Do not slack off and do not quit things. Being a babe means you do not give up. On people, or on goals. When someone tells you that loyalty is one of your best qualities and that they have a girl crush on you, smile and say "thank you".

Redefine what being a babe means. "A babe is someone who is completely and fabulously themselves at all times. A person who treats people the way they want to be treated- a woman who is not afraid to speak her mind, loudly. And someone who owns it- the good and the bad." Tell the dictionary that they need to take a page out of your book. That in the dictionary, under the word "babe," it should simply say your fabulous name. TC mark

15 Men Discuss The Difference Between Sex With A Younger And Older Woman

Posted: 17 Dec 2015 05:00 PM PST

ajwhites
ajwhites

1. “Older women are better at sex, hands down. There is no question, at all. They know their bodies, they aren’t squeamish about ‘what this means’ and they know what they want.”

— Marcus, 25

beetlejuice

2. “I’ve been with a couple of women my age that were pretty crazy in bed but the ones that have really blown my mind have all been over 35. One was divorced and one, well, wasn’t, but both of them were hungry for it in a way that college women and women in their 20s just aren’t.”

— Nathan, 27

beetlejuice

3. “I’ve only been with one woman who was what you might call older and she was 41. Awesome in bed but not awesome to look at. I was 18 at the time though so I was just excited to be there. Definitely dated girls my own age after that.”

— Arnold, 21

beetlejuice

4. “I’m 45, being frank about this feels a bit weird but it is definitely true that women feel differently about sex as they get older. When I was in college I had sexual relationships with women who are now my wife’s age and they had sex with the same awesome abandon that my wife now does. Having said that, my wife, while not cold at all when we first got married, has definitely been more into sex as she’s gotten older. So, that just seems to be how it is.”

— Keith, 45

beetlejuice

5. “I’ve been hooking up off and on with a woman who used to be my boss over the last couple of years. Basically whenever I’m single. She’s divorced, has no desire to get married and just wants to have fun. Best oral game ever, doesn’t treat it like a chore, isn’t constantly giving me ‘romance eyes’ while she’s going down on me. A+, over all.”

— Joe, 25

beetlejuice

6. “Younger women want to feel pretty, older women want to get off and get you off. That’s the difference.”

— David, 33

beetlejuice

7. “I’ve been with one woman who was 10 years older than me at the time. I’m glad I did it but I prefer women my own age. I’d like to have something to talk about afterwards.”

— Chris, 28

beetlejuice

8. “It’s no secret among my buddies that older women are better at sex. They’re better at flirting too. They’re pretty much better at everything.”

— Joshua, 23

beetlejuice

9. “Older women understand that it doesn’t have to mean something every time you have sex and they don’t care as much about the circumstances around it. I’ve dated a couple of older women and while both liked romantic things they didn’t require it as a pretense before sex. You weren’t renting them.”

— Eric, 26

beetlejuice

10. “Older women call you when they want you. Younger women call you when they want you to want them.”

— Arthur,

beetlejuice

11. “When I was 22 I hooked up with a woman who was 35. She rocked me out. We’re married now, lol. So, yeah, that’s how they are in bed.”

— Robert, 25

beetlejuice

12. “45-year-old man, here. Women my age are wonderful but, well, 45 is when things start breaking down for everyone so you do the math. Sleeping with older women when you’re in your 20s might be a real wake up call, sexually, but when you’re getting older, women younger than you start looking better and better.”

— Rick, 45

beetlejuice

13. “My favorite thing about the relationships with the older women I’ve been with was not having to have some immediate answer about how I felt about them the next morning. I’ve never been with an older woman who tried to force a relationship where there wasn’t one and at the same time if they want a relationship they let you know up front instead of acting like they’re just ‘chill girl’ and being mad later.”

— Jeremiah, 24

beetlejuice

14. “Older women are better at the dirty talk. Oh, they’re also better at sex. I remember telling my current gf (my age) that once after she pried it out of me. She got so mad.”

— Peter, 25

beetlejuice

15. “I have one particular woman to thank for ironing out my sex game when I was in my early 20s. She was great and was able to tell me exactly what to do to make her cum. Up until then, all the women I’d been with had been my age and had either been unable or unwilling to tell me what they liked. After this older woman and I stopped hooking up I realized I’d basically became a god in the sack for my age group. Believe me, word got out.”

— Garth, 30 TC mark

Did Helga And Arnold Get Married? Here’s Where The ‘Hey Arnold’ Gang Are In 2015

Posted: 17 Dec 2015 04:15 PM PST

Unless you lived under a rock in the mid-90s to early 2000s, you're probably familiar with the TV show, Hey Arnold!, one of the most culturally significant cartoons of the 20th century. When the show started in 1996, the gang were around nine years old and in the fourth grade. Now, almost 20 years later, what are they doing with their lives? Did they all stay in Hillwood? And most importantly, did Helga and Arnold get hitched? Let's find out.

Arnold

Daniella Urdinlaiz
Daniella Urdinlaiz

Everybody's favorite guy next door, Arnold, eventually channelled his love of animals into a profession as a vet. As the hometown boy he was, Arnold stayed in Hillwood for most of his young adult years except for the year he took to travel around the world — just like his parents. After a crazy dream on the night of his college graduation, he deferred his admission to veterinary school and took off within a week. Sadly, Arnold didn't find his parents, but he found something else — acceptance, peace, and love — which he didn't even know he needed. Although he didn't intend to, he ended up coming home after a year. At 28-years-old, he's done quite well for himself. Arnold still lives in his grandparent’s house which they left to him, although he bought out the vacant home next door to start his own veterinary practice earlier this year.

Helga

02-helga
Daniella Urdinlaiz

Helga left Hillwood for college in the east coast to study Neuroscience and Psychology. But she had to move back home after sophomore year because her mother got chronic lyme disease. While spending more time with her mother and looking after her, Helga continued her studies at the university in town (where Arnold also went, whom she still had a crush on). She changed her majors to Writing and Poetry to pursue her dreams of being a writer. She also took a year off college to travel, where she would start a blog documenting her journey. Helga came back after a year, and was inspired to write a book, "Hate To Love You," which was published last year. She works as a full-time essayist and poet. Her collection of poems, "118 Strange Dreams" will be out next year.

Grandpa Phil and Grandma Gertie

Daniella Urdinlaiz
Daniella Urdinlaiz

Grandpa Phil and Grandma Gertie lived a rich and wonderful life, but passed away the summer before Arnold's final year in college. Before they died, they had written an unintentional goodbye letter to Arnold, explaining that he was the best grandson anyone could have ever hoped for. They also wrote when it came to love, "Let it surprise you." But how did Grandpa Phil and Grandma Gertie die? They both decided that in their old age, they wanted to go skydiving. Well, Grandma Gertie wanted to go, and Grandpa Phil wouldn't let her go alone. They were fine until the ride back home when Grandma Gertie said she was having some heart palpitations. Grandpa Phil drove her to the hospital, only to experience the same heart sensations. They died in their car in each other’s arms. Arnold had them cremated and spread their ashes in the ocean.

Gerald

Daniella Urdinlaiz
Daniella Urdinlaiz

Gerald's family moved to Washington D.C. at the start of his junior year of high school. He would go to Howard, where he studied Political Science and Finance. He took some years off after college to work in poor communities in Mississippi. Demoralized from feeling like he could not change the world fast enough, he decided to go to law school at Georgetown. He met a wonderful lady named Imani in law school. While Imani chose corporate law, Gerald is working on the Hill as a politician's staffer. His dream is to enact education reform one day, especially for the most vulnerable populations. Imani thinks he could be the president some day, though, which makes Gerald laugh. The two are to be married next year. Gerald still visits Hillwood a few times a year, and every so often Arnold visits him in D.C. Their friendship is as strong as ever.

Phoebe

Daniella Urdinlaiz
Daniella Urdinlaiz

Phoebe graduated from Stanford University in five semesters with degrees in Physics and Math, and a minor in Latin American and Caribbean Dance. She spent the summer after her graduation dancing her way through South America when she met a man named Caesar in Colombia who she fell madly in love with, in a way she had never experienced. Phoebe seriously considered never coming back to the United States, but Caesar told her that she would never accomplish all she was meant to do if she stayed with him. Back in the States, Phoebe went on to get her aerospace engineering degree at MIT, and was handpicked by NASA at the end of her program. She would reunite with her old pal Gerald in D.C. Phoebe also never gave up dancing and still does it three times a week. Her and Helga lost touch a little bit after they went to college, but when Helga's mother got sick, Phoebe and Helga became closer than ever.

Harold

Daniella Urdinlaiz
Daniella Urdinlaiz

Between junior year and senior year of high school, Harold had an encounter that changed his life forever. After being dared by his friends to go up to a beautiful girl and ask her out, the girl told him, "She'd sooner date an actual pig." He'd heard mean comments about his weight for much of his life, but this time, he couldn't shake it off. By the last semester of high school, Harold was a regular ol' heartthrob. He decided to skip the whole college thing and dedicate his life to his abs. He runs his own Crossfit gym and has never met a protein shake he didn't like. He saw the girl who made the pig comment a few months ago, walked up to her, and said, "Thank you." She tried to ask him out but he said, "Weight, anyone can lose. That nasty attitude you have though? That takes a lifetime to fix — and that's a lifetime I don't have." You can find him on Tinder.

Rhonda

Daniella Urdinlaiz
Daniella Urdinlaiz

Rhonda got out of Hillside as fast as she could following high school graduation, and moved to New York City where she would attend The New School. She also modeled part-time in college. She got into a huge fight with her parents after college. The fight was over her desire to follow an older French man, Jaque, to Paris, whom she had met walking at one of her shows. He promised to build an empire around her, and against her parents wishes, she went to Paris. She would soon find that Jaque, the older French guy, was full of lies. She tried making it on her own in Paris, but after three months of bounced rent checks, she called her dad crying. They welcomed her back with open arms and she started receiving her trust fund. She moved back to New York soon after and launched her own clothing line soon after.

Nadene

Daniella Urdinlaiz
Daniella Urdinlaiz

Nadene stayed in Hillside for college. She got a degree in Chemistry and soon after found a job as a botanist — her career dream as a girl who's always loved nature. Within a year of getting her job though, her and her fiancé Michael called off their wedding. In a moment of inspiration, Nadene quit her job, sold most of her stuff, and moved to Portland to get a fresh start. She worked at an animal-friendly vegan coffee shop initially, before she became part-owner. They are set to be opening a second location in Portland soon. When she's away from the coffee shop, you can find her volunteering at an animal rescue shelter or protesting in city hall as an animal right's advocate. Rhonda came to visit her once, but decided she was much too New York for Portland. Somehow they're still friends even if it's mostly Nadene visiting Rhonda in New York city these days. Also, she’s been seeing a guy named Trey. He’s a meat eater but she likes him anyway.

Stinky

Daniella Urdinlaiz
Daniella Urdinlaiz

Stinky moved back to Arkansas just before college with his family. He attended Arkansas State University and got a degree in Finance. After working for an insurance company for a few months, he quit and moved to the countryside to work with his hands, like he's always wanted. Getting a job as the assistant of a family farm, he ended up falling in love with his boss's daughter, Mary Beth. Thinking he might have to quit the farm in order to continue his romance with Mary Beth, her dad pulled him aside one day and told him he's exactly the guy he had always hoped Mary Beth would marry. They are married with two kids and enjoying their quiet, peaceful life. He hadn't been back to Hillside since he left until this year when he took Mary Beth and the kids, and met up with some of the old P.S. 118 gang.

Eugene

Daniella Urdinlaiz
Daniella Urdinlaiz

Eugene's family left for Japan the summer before high school where he would find out that he is clumsy in every culture. They came back three years later just in time for him to complete his senior year with his childhood friends. Off to the local university, Eugene decided to study Computer Science. In a twist of fate, he had a terrible accident in one of his labs while working on a project about robots in his junior year. This led to creating an application that can be downloaded to any digital device that predicts all possible scenarios of accidents wherever you are. As a result, Eugene became a millionaire and didn't finish college. His new-found money made him wary of gold diggers though, so he's still searching for the special one.

Lila

Daniella Urdinlaiz
Daniella Urdinlaiz

Lila and Arnold dated for three years in high school, but right before senior year, Lila broke it off with him and moved to L.A. after meeting an agent who said she had acting talent. Lila finished her GED while taking acting classes, but she would soon find out that her agent had promised more than he could fulfill. She soon became yet another struggling actress in the city, waiting tables, and attending casting calls in her spare time. She started a blog called "brokeactress.com" filled with all her hilarious failures at casting calls, and stories about the industry. The blog became a sensation and eventually led to her getting some commercial gigs. Currently, she has 800k followers on Instagram and is waiting to hear back from a new ABC pilot comedy. She visited Hillside two years ago where it became apparent to everyone that her acting struggle had turned the one sweet girl into one bitter peach.

"Brainy"

Daniella Urdinlaiz
Daniella Urdinlaiz

Brainy continued to be an awkward kid for most of high school until his senior year when he took an I.Q. test. According to test, Brainy was a legal genius. Having his choice of Ivy League Schools, Brainy decided on Brown where he received a full scholarship. At Brown, Brainy joined a frat who turned the once awkward kid into a certified ladies man. In his senior year, Brainy was approached by two government officials who offered him a job. It is speculated that he now works for the CIA, but that information is classified.

Sid

Daniella Urdinlaiz
Daniella Urdinlaiz

Sid moved to Las Vegas for college. After discovering his affinity for art and graphics in high school, he chose to study graphic design thereafter. He became a popular kid on campus after he made digital comics for his college's online student paper. From the great expectations that people had for him since the production of the comic, he soon began to deal with the pressure by using lots of recreational drugs. A week after college, he suffered from a psychological breakdown which led to The New Yorker rescinding the job offer they had given him. Soon after, he moved back home to his parents house in order to receive care, and has since stopped using most hard drugs. You can find him in the neighborhood telling the kids at P.S. 118 stories from his good old days. He's also thinking about applying there next year as an art teacher. Arnold invites him over for dinner every now and then but always locks up the alcohol when he comes over.

"Curly"

Daniella Urdinlaiz
Daniella Urdinlaiz

Curly dropped out of high school in his senior year. He moved to Florida for a brief period where he got involved with some skinheads who wanted to "take their country back." Running out of money and plans in Florida, he moved back to Hillside and lived in his parent’s basement. He currently works as a clerk in a construction office and spends most of his time reading men's rights activist websites and trolling the Internet for articles on race and feminism. Once a year, he goes back to Florida and reunites with his skinhead buddies. They are planning to have a #WhiteLivesMatter march in February.

So…now for the question you've all been waiting for: Did Helga And Arnold get married?

Well, before I answer that, let's go back to what Arnold and Helga were up to a few years ago. Both Arnold and Helga took a year off after college to travel, although they both had no idea where the other was going. They both ended up meeting in the small Brazilian village of Morro de São Paulo. They ended up going on the same hike a day after they met and started to see each other in a way they hadn't before — as two people who had known each other for years but who'd never really seen each other. They found they liked each other just as people.

But when they got to the top of the mountain on the hike, Arnold ended up being bitten by a poisonous local snake. In the middle of nowhere, he had to be airlifted and rushed to the hospital, with Helga by his side. Once they got to the hospital, it looked like he wasn't going to make it. So through hardened cries, Helga confessed that she had loved him since they were kids, and that she had never stopped, and no matter how hard she tried, she didn't think she would ever love anyone else. Arnold went into a coma soon after.

He woke up three days later though, after having a dream or a memory of his Grandparent's words about love, "Let it surprise you." He realized that Helga was the girl for him, and she always was, he had just never seen it. A year to the date of their meeting in Brazil, the two of them tied the knot in what was the most unexpected but joyous wedding in Hillside.

Daniella Urdinlaiz
Daniella Urdinlaiz

Helga has something to tell Arnold tonight though. She's going to tell him, that she's a few months "late" and she's having twins – a boy and a girl. And she wants to name them Phil and Gertie, after Arnold's grandparents, who knew the two – Arnold and Helga – would eventually find each other and fall in love.

P.S. Because I know you're all wondering: stoop kid still lives on his stoop. TC mark

5 Things Straight Men Do That Annoy Me

Posted: 17 Dec 2015 04:00 PM PST

1. Talk to women about things they have no interest in ever hearing. Every day, at the café attached to my gym, I overhear some bozo in running shoes corner a female barista into talking about his band or his sound system or his workout routine. The poor barista nods and smiles, clearly having no interest in ANY of these subjects, and yet, still, the straight guy goes on and on. One time, after one of these idiots left, I went up to the barista and was like, "Babe? Why does he think you care about the rims on his car?" And the barista responded, with a tinge of defeat and sadness, "I don't mind. It's part of my job."

2. Act entitled to all the vaginas. Recently, at an unclear mansion party in the Hollywood Hills, a Jonah Hill-esque gremlin creature started hitting on my gorgeous friend. My friend was like, "Sorry. Not my journey." (in so many words) and the Jonah Hill creature threw a fit and skulked away. But it's like, get over it, you dumb crybaby! Can you imagine if the roles were reversed? Imagine if Rebel Wilson walked up to Brad Pitt at a party and was like "Wanna fuck?" and then threw a massive tantrum when Brad Pitt said no. LOL. You can't imagine it because that's not how our society works! If Rebel hit on Brad, people would think she was psychotic. What balls! What gumption! Meanwhile, if Jonah Hill doesn't end up with a Victoria's Secret model, he has every right to be unsoothed. To which I also say: WHAT BALLS, HILL! WHAT GUMPTION!

3. Get upset when a movie or a TV show isn't made specifically for them. Working in Hollywood, I've heard many straight guys bitch about Lena Dunham being unfuckable and OMG, that Patrick Wilson episode was SO unrealistic, and WHY DOES ANYONE EVEN WATCH THIS SJFNFFJFIRFIFJM?!!! Uh, babe? Spoiler: Not everything made in Hollywood is meant for YOU. So what if you don't want to fuck Lena Dunham? Do you think she cares? She has earmuffs made out of hundred dollar bills so she can't hear you complain! But then you realize, barring the last ten years or so, most TV shows and movies HAVE been made to cater to the male gaze. So when something comes along that subverts it, straight guys don't know what to do! They're beside themselves! Can you imagine being born into this world and thinking everything in this world is meant for you? Unreal. We need to take away the confidence of straight men ASAP because there are 10,000,000 brains that deserve it more.

4. When they hate women without even realizing it. I can't tell you how many times my girlfriends have dated a closet misogynist. They appear normal and feminist-y and cute at first but then they have a few drinks and they're like "It's Jennifer Lawrence's fault she had her nude photos hacked! She was asking for it!" Sigh. It just goes to show how deeply engrained it all is. You can have deep dark feelings about women and have your brain register it as normal. I know we've all had sex with people who hate us but OUR ENTIRE GENDER? Rude.

5. On a much, much lighter note: I really hate when straight guys lift up their shirt and "absentmindedly" rub their stomach. What are you doing? Does your stomach really itch that much? I don't recall my stomach ever itching. Does having a six-pack make them itch? All those defined muscles just create an itching sensation that demands a stomach rub while you're scratching the back of your head? Help me understand. Mansplain it to me on the subway while taking up three subway chairs. TC mark

7 Genuine Ways To Melt A Girl’s Heart (From A Girl’s Perspective)

Posted: 17 Dec 2015 03:00 PM PST

Twenty20 / linnflorin
Twenty20 / linnflorin

1. Tell her why you love her.

What is it about her that makes you smile every time she pops into your head? Her confidence, her laugh, her humility, whatever it is let her know, and when you do, tell her it is what makes her who she is, and that is why you love her.

2. Do something for her without her asking.

This doesn’t mean buy her a gift when she least expects it, this means do the little things that she does all the time which you normally overlook. Whether it is simply folding her laundry, or making her a cup of coffee in the morning before she goes to work, if you do it without her asking she’ll appreciate it that much more.

3. Tell her that she’s beautiful.

Even if she doesn’t believe you, it’s nice for her to hear every once in a while. Don’t tell her when she’s in a dress with full hair and make up, tell her when she’s in a t-shirt right before bed with her hair braided in pig tails. Tell her when she’s raw and not done up, tell her when she’s exposed, because if she knows you think she’s beautiful at her worst, she knows you think she’s beautiful all of the time.

4. Let her know you’re listening.

She doesn’t want you to be thinking about something else when she’s talking to you. No matter how distracted you are, or how little you care about what she is saying, she’s telling you for a reason, and it’s because she wants you to care. Even if you don’t, just listen to what she has to say.

5. Tell her when you’re thinking about her.

Chances are she’s on your mind, so let her know when she is. She’ll not only appreciate it, she’ll be flattered, and afterwards you’ll be the one on her mind.

6. Thank her for the little things.

There is no expression of gratitude that is ever too small. A simple thank you lets her know you’re appreciative, and the more appreciative you are, the more likely she is to continue to do things for you. Next time she washes your dirty dishes, thank her. Make it known her favors do not go unnoticed.

7. Be there for her when she needs you the most.

When something goes terribly wrong in her life, you don’t have to know exactly what to say, just be there. Your presence, your voice, your thoughts alone serve as support. You’re not her shoulder to cry on, you’re someone who picks her up when she falls down, someone she can depend on, and someone who won’t run away when life itself becomes an obstacle. TC mark

11 Murderous Love Triangles That Will Make You Feel Blessed To Be Single

Posted: 17 Dec 2015 02:00 PM PST

1. Get The Boyfriend To Do It

1af61295-d222-448f-a61e-c35471159a4b-large16x9_Doublemug
via Anne Arundel Police Dept.

Forty-two year old Maryland resident, Ann Anastasia, had been involved in a long standing three-way romance with her husband and another woman, Jacqueline Riggs. Surprisingly, however, Ann began to feel that the her marriage was on the rocks and allegedly became determined to eliminate both her husband and Riggs. But, she didn’t want to do it herself so, like any mother would, she enlisted her 13-year-old daughter and her daughter’s 18-year-old boyfriend, Gabriel Struss, in a plot to murder her husband.

Struss ended up being the one to actually do the deed, allegedly murdering both Ann’s husband and Jacqueline Riggs on the same day and planting completely unconvincing evidence to try to frame their deaths as a murder suicide. Ann’s daughter and Struss then discussed the murders over text (hey, it’s just how kids communicate these days) which ultimately broke the case open.

As of October of this year, Ann, the daughter, and Struss have all been charged.

2. The Teacher And The Student

via YouTube
via YouTube

Former student teacher, Erin McLean, had been carrying on what was apparently a fairly public affair with 18-year-old Sean Powell, a West High School student in Knoxville, TN, where she was employed. Her husband, Eric, only became aware of the affair after his wife began talking about Powell all the time and the married couple’s two children told their father that Erin was spending time with Powell and holding hands at the park.

Once Eric became aware of his wife’s infidelity he stole a gun from a relative with the intent of killing himself. Ultimately deciding not to, he eventually confronted Powell upon catching Powell and his wife having sex in his own bed. Following Powell outside of the McLean family home, he then pointed the rifle at Powell as he sat in his car with, he claims, the intent to scare him away.

Things didn’t go according to plan. Instead of leaving, Eric McLean claims that Powell instead mocked him, grabbed the barrel of the rifle and tried to pull it away from Eric. That’s when the rifle went off, killing Powell.

Eric McLean was initially charged with first degree murder but a jury convicted him of reckless manslaughter instead, a far lesser charge. As for Erin, she was fired from a teaching job in Nashville for having another inappropriate relationship with a student there and moved to Texas and refused to testify one way or the other at her now ex-husband’s trial.

3. The Conspirators

New Zealanders Gurjinder Singh and Amandeep Kaur were arrested in the Fall of this year after Singh murdered Kaur’s husband while he was sitting in the car with Kaur. Both Kaur and Sigh are alleged to have planned the murder as a result of the affair they affair they’d been carrying on after meeting at work.

Upon their arrest, both were interviewed separately by police but once they were put together in the same room they began conspiring in Punjabi, apparently believing that there was no way the police would understand them if they didn’t speak in English. They were wrong.

Police were able to hear them attempt to hash out who would take the fall for the murder and even heard them discussing what the future of their relationship might be. The two apparently decided on killing Kaur’s husband instead of Singh’s wife because Singh wasn’t willing to sever his relationship with his wife and family. Honorable, however, he was willing to commit murder.

Both Singh and Kaur have since been found guilty of murder.

4. The Jealous Ex-Boyfriend

via Dade County Police
Pedro Bravo via Dade County Police

Pedro Bravo, Christian Aguilar, and Erika Friman all attended high school together and then went on to all attend the University of Florida. Initially, Bravo and Friman were dating but after they broke up, Friman began dating Aquilar. Driven into a jealous rage, Bravo began plotting to kill Aquilar and eventually did so, poisoning and strangling him before burying his body in a shallow grave in a forest sixty miles outside of Gainesville.

Bravo was only caught after Aquilar’s body was discovered…circa two years after the murder had taken place. An investigation led to the discovery of Aquilar’s blood in Bravo’s vehicle as well as receipts indicating Bravo had purchased duct tape and a shovel prior to Aquilar’s disappearance.

5. The Mid-Life Crisis Lovers

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 4.11.54 PM
via YouTube

The internet is a great place for pretending to be someone else. 47-year-old Thomas Montgomery of Buffalo, NY and a 40-something woman from West Virginia showed just how dangerous that anonymity can be in the mid-2000s when both Montgomery and the W.Va woman both went online and posed as younger versions of themselves, much younger, and began a romance. Montgomery, married with children at the time, used a nearly 30-year-old photo of himself when he was in the Marine Corp to pose as a recent Iraq vet and the woman used photos of her own daughter to pose as a teen.

Their romance grew and grew with Montgomery bragging to his co-workers about the young woman he was “seeing” even though the relationship was entirely online. However, after a time, the woman also struck up an online relationship with one of Montgomery’s co-workers, 22-year-old Brian Barrett and a rivalry between he and Montgomery broke out which culminated in Montgomery sniping Barrett from distance while Barrett sat in his car after work. Montgomery actually had been a Marine sniper decades earlier.

Montgomery was convicted of second-degree murder.

6. The Jilted Lover

Mugshot via mylifeofcrime
Mugshot via mylifeofcrime

Greeley, Colorado resident and police dispatcher Shawna Nelson was carrying on an affair with police officer Ignacio Garraus. As a result of the affair, Nelson became pregnant. Not longer afterward, Ignacio, being a class act, broke the affair with Nelson off.

Murderous with rage, Nelson donned a black mask and robe and shot Ignacio’s wife, Heather Garraus, to death outside her place of work with a .40 caliber handgun yelling “You ruined my life. Get on the ground” prior to pulling the trigger.

7. THE MATH TEACHER

via Chandler PD
via Chandler PD

48-year-old high school math teacher Tamara Hofmann had two lovers. One was a 20-year-old Navy sailor named Sixto Balbuena and the other was an 18-year-old student from Hofmann’s school, Samuel Valdivia.

Home on leave, Balbuena entered Hofmann’s home and, upon catching the two having sex in the bathroom, began chasing Valdivia from the house by throwing objects at him and ultimately stabbing him. As Valdivia bled to death, Blabuena, apparently feeling remorseful for what he had done, called 911. He was arrested upon their arrival of police.

8. The Former Beauty Queen

via Oprah
via Oprah

”If the man is cheating on you, you do what every other woman in this county does — you take him to the cleaners,” Assistant District Attorney Mia Magness said in the murder trial of Clara Harris. ”You don’t get to kill him.

That’s not what 45-year-old Dr. Clara Harris did. After discovering that her husband and partner in oral care was cheating on her with a 39-year-old receptionist at one of the several dentist offices she and her soon-to-be dead husband owned together. Husband David Harris did his part to drive his wife into a frenzy though, providing her with a “detailed” physical comparison between his former beauty queen wife and his current, phone-answering girlfriend.

That resulted in Clara Harris hiring a personal trainer and getting breast implants but when that still didn’t make her husband faithful again she ran over him with her Mercedes-Benz, killing him.

9. The Trophy Wife

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 4.34.57 PM
via Vimeo

Everyone’s familiar with the idea of the trophy wife and while they’re generally expected to run around a bit on the older, richer men they’re married to, it’s generally expected that they keep it a bit hush hush and that they at least pretend to love the man they’ve legally attached themselves to.

Not so with Celeste Beard who married self-made millionaire and television station owner Steven Beard. The two met when Celeste was waitressing. He was 68. She was 30. Celeste had been married three times before and convicted of insurance fraud. Once the two were hitched, he showered her with expensive gifts and also paid off the $20,000 in restitution money Celeste owed for the insurance fraud.

However, she hated sex with a man Steven’s age who apparently required a shot to maintain an erection but managed to dodge a divorce by contractually agreeing to perform oral sex on him every Saturday. Shortly after, she began to talk about how much she wanted him to die, having sex with one of her three ex-husbands, and carrying on a lesbian affair with bookstore owner Tracey Tarleton.

Once Steve found out, he banished Tracey from the house but Tracey didn’t take this lightly and, three days later, shot him in the stomach with a shotgun. Steve lived but not for very long. Tracey went to prison and never implicated Celeste despite police being convinced she’d been involved. Tracey was sentenced and went to prison, still silent, until she saw in the local paper that Celeste had remarried. It was then that she spilled the beans to authorities that she and Celeste had planned the whole thing.

Celeste was convicted of murder and sentenced to 80 years in prison without the possibility of parole. Tracey got 20 years.

10. Another Seduced Teenager

via YouTube
via YouTube

22-year-old Pamela Smart was a high school media director in New Hampshire when she stuck up a sexual affair with a 15-year-old male student and then talked him into employing a couple of his friends to murder her then husband 24-year-old Gregory Smart. She had already come into possession of his $140,000 life insurance policy when she implicated herself to another student she had befriended but who was also wearing a wire.

In 1991, Smart was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Her accomplices got 28 years each.

11. The Grandfather

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 4.44.52 PM
via FBCSO

78-year-old grandfather and Katy, Texas resident Dennis Patrick Gibson lost it when he discovered his 68-year-old wife was carrying on with a younger man of 66 years. What started as an argument in Gibson’s front yard ended in murder when Gibson apparently decided the hell with it and shot both his wife’s suitor and his wife. The boyfriend was rushed to the hospital but later died while the gunshots Gibson’s wife suffered were non-life-threatening.

Gibson remained unapologetic for committing the shooting saying that his wife’s boyfriend arrived at their house, rang the doorbell, and that his wife let him in. “I was pushed to the fucking limit,” he said. “I’d been cuckolded beyond belief,” he said. TC mark

6 Ways To Know He Doesn’t Want To Have A Relationship With You (And Most Likely Never Will)

Posted: 17 Dec 2015 01:00 PM PST

Twenty20 / dawson_accidently
Twenty20 / dawson_accidently

Relationships require a TON of effort. That’s why casual dating exists. You want to try people on for size before you settle in and really make a go of it. Sometimes, you can tell right away. Other times, you might date for a while before you decide the juice isn’t worth the squeeze.

That beginning dating phase is essentially just a test. You’re dipping your toe in the water to decide if you can handle the plunge. And during that test, you’re looking for two sets of evidence: things that make your heart say, “Oh, hell yes,” and things that make your head say, “You’re an idiot, heart.”

We call the latter, red flags, which seems pretty dramatic. But they serve an important purpose — protecting ourselves. Opening your heart isn’t easy; you can’t just let anyone in there before you know they’ll treat it delicately.

Here are six signs that tell a guy you’re not what he’s looking for:

1. He openly talks about the other girls he’s dating.

Quite simply, he’s not concerned with hurting your feelings. If he were looking for a relationship, that certainly wouldn’t be the case.

2. You only hear from him for booty calls.

He’s only thinking of you when he’s horny. He’s not daydreaming about you all day, thinking about the perfect way to make it official. If he was, you’d talk about more than just when and where to have sex.

3. He disappears for long periods of time.

This says he has no interest in keeping you interested. If he’s not thinking about you in the long-term, he’s not thinking there’s an “us” in the long-term.

4. You never meet his friends.

If he’s not going to spend time getting other people invested in you, then he isn’t invested in you.

5. You have no hobbies.

Sorry, happy hour and Netflix don’t count. Guys aren’t looking for what Ronda Rousey would call a DNB. No real hobbies, activities or passionate interests is the hallmark warning sign of an emotionally needy person.

If you have nothing else in your life, we’ll be the one solely responsible for your happiness, and that’s unfair. If you want someone to love, you have to BE someone worthy of it.

6. You have no job.

We all want a partner, not a dependent. Things happen and it’s a tough economy, but it’s a red flag. Financial burden aside, being unemployed and not working toward a career could mean a lack of forethought, planning, drive and independence. We want someone who has their life together. TC mark

YOURTANGO

The $10 Last Minute Gift That Works For Literally Everyone And Will Be At Your Door In 2 Days

Posted: 17 Dec 2015 12:45 PM PST

Ecandy Wireless Bluetooth Waterproof Shower Speaker
Ecandy Wireless Bluetooth Waterproof Shower Speaker

I was browsing Amazon earlier this week because I hadn’t started my Christmas shopping yet and I wanted everything to arrive in a neat pile on my door at one time so I could just load the boxes into my car. I found this shower speaker that is supposed to be like $100 but they are selling them for ten bucks (and free shipping if you have Prime, holla). I ordered three, one for my sister and her husband, one for a generic women’s gift exchange I do with my stepmom’s family, and one for me.

It was on my doorstep two days later. I gave it a quick charge and it was easy to pair with my phone and the speaker is LOUD. I didn’t want to leave the shower because I was streaming My Worlds Acoustic. You can skip over tracks (presumably if you’re listening to something other than My Worlds Acoustic), and even make phone calls if you want to make calls in the shower for some (???) reason.

Now I can’t stop bragging about it:

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 2.59.05 PM

Frankly, I’m at a loss for who doesn’t want to listen to music in the shower. I actually hope I don’t know any people like that. I’m going to buy this every time I need to buy a $10 gift. TC mark