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    Elegant Ways to Express Your Emotions as a Woman

    Are you a woman who isn’t content? That’s a real problem, because everyone is relying on you to be your best, even-tempered version of yourself at all times. You may sometimes be tempted to give into your emotions and express your feelings — anger, sadness, insecurity — but as a woman, you don’t want to feel things too often. Feeling feelings is habit-forming and might become an obstacle at work and at home, so before giving in to you baser human instincts to express yourself, try these methods:


    Whatever happens, don’t cry, especially if your cry face is unattractive. Unless you’ve sat for a sculptor creating a statue of a woman in mourning to be placed outside of a mausoleum, spare the world your tears. What are you really looking to gain by crying, anyway? A hug? A healthy release of some pent-up frustrations? Bury the urge to cry deep down inside of you, deeper than you buried that corduroy vest in your closet. If you insist on squeezing some tears out, collect them drop by drop in a mason jar and use them to create a watercolor still life painting of a bowl of fruit so at least some good will come of your blubbering.

    Insecurity or Body Shame

    If you’re not feeling good about your body, drop a pinch of salt into your left pocket and head deep into the woods. When you find an open area, clasp your hands behind your back and recite the incantation “Vanitus Maxmilius” three times. A cloaked sorcerer will appear before you. Ask him to create an enchanted mirror for you, because honey, no one wants to hear about how you have weird knees or your hair is too thin or you don’t like how your hips look in a pencil skirt. When you share your insecurities with other people, it makes them feel bad, worse than you feel when you look at your pores. If for some reason you’re unable to let your self-doubt fester inside you, a magic mirror is the way to go.

    Relationship Trouble

    The next time you’re having relationship troubles, whisper all of your deepest complaints, fears, and aspirations into a conch shell. Sail out to sea and throw the shell as hard as you can. As the maritime manifestation of your drama sinks to the ocean’s floor, revel in the satisfaction that no one will ever know how clingy, needy, or crazy you are.

    Frustration or Anxiety

    The next time you’re frustrated or anxious, what you need more than anything else is a loyal pal to interrupt and remind you that you’re making a big deal about nothing. Set aside some time to chat with this person, and as you articulate what you thought were justified feelings, really listen carefully when they inform you that you’re being silly. Accept that, whatever it is, it’s “all in your  head” and feel all your stress melt away as you embrace that your interpretation of the experience was completely erroneous. Gather some clay, go to your pottery wheel, and make a nice bowl.


    Before getting angry, check the calendar to see if your period is coming. Anger is generally reserved for men, but you might be able to get a seat at anger’s bar if you can prove your feelings are related to PMS or hormones. If it’s not that time of the month, are you hungry? Are you sure a cookie wouldn’t make this better? No? Okay, well, just don’t burden anyone with your anger. You want your anger to be convenient for everyone, like one of those shoe organizers you can slide under the bed. Have you tried knitting, baking, or cleaning? Those are approved methods of female anger reduction.


    You don’t need to vocalize how happy you are. As a woman, it’s generally assumed you’re happy at all times because you do happy lady things like water the plants, pick out birthday cards, and fix boo-boos. If you think you have something to celebrate, you should first check with 3-5 other people (including one person of the opposite sex, one person related to you, and one person at least 5 years your senior) to confirm that your happiness is legitimate. Once you’ve determined that your elation is deserved, feel free to give yourself a dignified pat on the back. Do not squeal under any circumstance–that’s so annoying.


    Did someone let you down? Did you get some bad news? These things happen. All you need to do is go to the craft store and buy a few dozen miniature glass bottles. When you get home, build yourself a nice set of floor-to-ceiling shelves. Every time you’re disappointed about something, scribble it down on a piece of paper of put it into one of the bottles, seal it forever, and add it to your wall of disappointments. Your expectations really make people squirm, and no one likes seeing you upset, but luckily these inanimate objects will be there for you in your time of need.


    Whether you’re overwhelmed, hurt, annoyed, or confused, instead of attempting to puzzle thorough why you feel the way you do with your delicate lady brain, confide in someone else better suited to fix your problems. Before you protest, remember that everyone is an expert on your feelings except you. Just tell someone else what’s going on – preferably someone very far removed from the situation who doesn’t have any first-hand knowledge of what you’re going through – and see what they have to say about it. In fact, go outside right now and wait around until a stranger walking a pug comes along and get their insight.

    half doughnut

    Why No, You May Not Just Take Half of That Dessert, You Savage

    Thank you for asking, but no, you may cut that whole cupcake that’s “just too much” in half. Even if you walk around with a petition and get signatures from everyone affected by your actions, you cannot only take half. When it comes to communal food situations, it’s all or nothing. Taking whole desserts is one of the stipulations you agreed to by living in society—you will wear pants unless asked otherwise, you will sing the “ba ba ba” part of “Sweet Caroline” at the top of your lungs whenever it plays, and you will not sever sweets.

    The world would erupt into chaos if we all just took exactly what we wanted. Grocery store shelves would be stocked with nothing but leftovers: Chex Mix bags absent the tasty, brown rye chips and loaves of bread relegated to loathes of bread with only the butt-ends left in the package. Do you know how many times I’ve been in the middle of a conversation and thought to myself, “Hm, I think I only want half of this,” and wished I could walk away and leave the other half for someone else to deal with? Frequently. But I don’t do that because I’m a decent human being. The same logic applies to socially bisecting food, especially desserts.

    I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in shared dessert settings: People are cutting desserts and leaving a trail of orphaned half-desserts in their wake. Cookies, Rice Krispie treats, cupcakes, and more are being guillotined to satisfy the quasi appetites of their assassins. In the most outrageous display of dessert portioning I’ve ever seen, some hooligan excised one third of a chocolate doughnut:


    I pity anyone who knows with mathematic certainty they only have room in their body for 30% of a doughnut, because that is an appetite omniscience befitting a Greek tragedy, but let’s examine this phenomenon in chart form:


    Unless you’re going to feed some birds or you’re a kid in a coming of age movie saving a special treat in your pocket for your poor friend, you cannot in good conscience cut this amount out of a doughnut.

    We’re all constantly in the throes of cutting carbs, counting calories, or convincing a witch we’re not fit to eat, but recovering from a big lunch or trying Weight Watchers again is no excuse to burden other people with tainted desserts. You’ll believe anything – no matter how ridiculous – when you only want a very specific amount of food. Like maybe it’s someone’s dream to eat the other half of a chocolate chip cookie you didn’t want. A coworker might be honored to eat the pile of crumbs that was once a whole blueberry muffin before you hacked into it. Your actions might benefit someone else who also only wants half of a cupcake! You’re making strides toward ending world hunger by only taking an amount of food you’re confident you can finish!!!! These are the desperate justifications of a madman.

    When someone sees a dessert that’s been cut in half, they don’t think, “Wow, score, that’s the exact portion I wanted,” but instead, “Where’s the rest of this cookie? Has someone’s mouth been on this?! If I don’t take this half cookie, am I a bad person? Who did this?????” Have you ever noticed there’s a store called Whole Foods but not Half Foods? That’s because people like to eat their foods in full; no one wants the abridged version of a brownie.

    Even if someone else as insane as you only wants half of a dessert, what makes you think they want to inherit your half? They probably want to the cutter, wielding the power of a plastic knife. Here’s a free business idea: Open a café called “Halfsies” where every patron consents that everything on the menu is half of something just by coming through the door. And by the way, unless you plan on priority shipping half a cupcake to part of the world where hunger is prevalent, there’s a good chance that dessert you cut is going to sit in the box and get stale long before everything else and ultimately thrown away.

    Do us all a favor and take the whole freakin’ cupcake or none of the cupcake, because it makes everything so much easier. Only cowards leave halves behind, and you’re better than that.


    PSA: I Don’t Care How Long It’s Been Since You Ate That

    Let me describe a situation we’ve all experienced.

    You’re with a friend, feeling confident enough to expose the ugliest, most-likely-to-go-viral-and-humiliate-you aspects of your life, and you find yourself wading into a story that includes a depraved episode of gluttony. Maybe you bought a tub of sour cream and ate it alone by the spoonful while watching American Horror Story season one or ordered the fries that serve a family of six just for yourself. Prior to this moment, your companion has been quiet, either listening or wondering what Ja Rule has been up to lately as so many of us do during quiet moments, but now something has caught their attention: You admitted that you ate something bad.

    Your friend nonchalantly interrupts to inform you, “Wow, I haven’t eaten French fries in 4 months, 17 days, 5 hours, 47 minutes, and 23 seconds.” Suddenly, everything stops. A tense moment passes between the two of you like a waiter reaching to clear away a plate of neglected nachos. The quiet gives way to sounds of faraway cheering and the trumpets of an elephant. It sounds like a distant party. A man on stilts wobbles into view, waving in your direction. He leads you down the street through a woodwind orchestra to the source of the celebration: It’s an I Haven’t Eaten That Since parade for your ascetic friend. A woman in a green taffeta gown with a grass-fed cow on a leash presents your friend with a sash made out of kale, bedazzled with pomegranate seeds that spell out “Better Than You.”

    When food comes up in the course of a normal conversation, what was once a pleasant exchange often devolves into a verbal cage match to crown a new Health Champion. The number of steps you walked yesterday gets thrown down like a healthy living blackjack. Protein-packed bars are unearthed from the bottom of purses, ready to joust. Elliptical alibis fall into place.

    Not all, “I haven’t eaten that since,” comments are bad. It’s one thing to bond over the shared memory of eating Jawbreakers back in the day and quite another to banish someone to the sewers because they admitted to eating more than the recommended serving of powdered doughnuts. Being proud of your diet isn’t categorically a bad thing – especially when you’ve quit certain foods as a preventative health measure – but people usually bring up their food moderation as a subtle, self-congratulatory dig, a little Pillsbury Dough Boy boop of a reminder that you’ve eaten something fattening more recently than they have.

    I’m guilty of oversharing my food restraining orders, too. I’ve taken pride in reminding people that I can’t remember the last time I deigned to be seen at the Burger King drive-thru or recall the calendar date when last the fizz of a freshly-opened Coca-Cola passed from aluminum can to my lips. In those moments I was trash, because instead of bonding over the universal struggle of bad eating, I became the person on Facebook who shares articles like, “New Study Finds Chocolate is Actually Delicious Poison.”

    As health-obsessed, weight-conscious beings, we like putting distance between ourselves and junk food, because mindful eating is a struggle that never gets any easier. If for a brief moment we can feel superior – even to someone close to us, someone we actually like – maybe it’ll erase some of the cookie guilt. There’s a smug satisfaction in being performative about your health, in announcing that you’re going to a yoga class or that you’ve woken up early to emulsify fruits and veggies into some unrecognizable green goo in the blender three times this week, but the temporary rush of superiority you get for lightly shaming someone for not being as disciplined as you doesn’t prove anything to anyone. It doesn’t appease the health gods, and it doesn’t get you closer to any goal.

    We’re allowed to celebrate our nutritional choices – whether they’re the result of ethics, allergies, cavemen, or Kim Kardashian – but not at the expense of anyone else. The fact that you’ve given up dairy has no correlation to your friend eating a pint of ice cream. You aren’t closer to reaching any health nirvana because out of everyone you know, it’s been the longest since you’ve eaten fried chicken. What you do and do not put into your body has nothing to do with anyone but you.

    So the next time someone confides in you that they recently ordered a large pizza with extra everything, instead of mentioning that you haven’t allowed cheese into your field of vision for four years, be humble and remember that no one really cares about that but you, and that’s enough.

    Man Puts Digital Tablet Into Tray For Airport Security Check

    Items Packed in My Luggage to Impress Airport Security

    Some people travel to find themselves. Others go seeking adventure, to see as much as this glorious earth as they can before the memories of their best days hang from their shoulders like a quilt of nostalgia. I admire the varied motives of these intrepid voyagers, but it isn’t white sand beaches or once in a lifetime experiences that inspire me to pack my bags: It’s the potential to impress airport security with the contents of my luggage. Where else other than at the airport can a complete stranger rummage through your belongings looking for weapons, hazardous materials, and liquid containers larger than three ounces and find instead the essence of your soul condensed into a Samsonite carry-on?

    The true highlight of any trip is when that conveyor belt reroutes my bag to Greg who works for airport security. All Greg knows about me is that my hairbrush was mistaken for a live hedgehog strapped to a pipe bomb in the scanner, but that’s all going to change once he opens my bag. Once he gets his latex gloved-hands on my personal effects, he’s going to be pleasantly surprised by what an interesting, well-rounded person I am. I curate my luggage just to ensure that the items I’ve packed send the right message about who I am as a person–or at least who I want strangers to think I am. These are a few items I like to bring along on every trip:

    An unabridged copy of War and Peace 

    Fitting this substantial novel in my bag means that someone won’t be getting a souvenir coffee mug this trip, but it’s worth it to savor the moment when the airport security employee raises his or her eyebrows in obvious admiration while moving this Tolstoy classic out of the way to ensure the pair of boots underneath aren’t twin nuclear warheads.

    A framed photo of Audrey Hepburn

    How could anyone not respect someone who admired Audrey Hepburn? She’s the kale of quotable deceased women. No one with with an Audrey Hepburn photo in their luggage walks through the metal detector with stuff in their pockets.

    A cornucopia of underwear

    It’s embarrassing when airport security stumbles upon your unmentionables while looking for a switchblade that’s actually just a flattened penny you made at the zoo and has been rolling around your luggage for seven years, that’s why I pack a variety of cuts, styles, and colors so security is left with the impression that I’m neither chaste nor deviant–a veritable underwear enigma.

    A book of sudoku puzzles with a pen clipped to it

    If a sudoku puzzle book coupled with a pen won’t prove I’m worldly and intelligent in the ten minutes we spend together in security while someone unfolds all my clothes searching for the headphones that coiled themselves into the shape of pistol, I don’t know what will.

    A charcoal sketch of a potato

    When TSA finds this work of art they’ll be so impressed by my capacity to capture the starchy vulnerability of everyone’s most beloved tuberous crop that they’ll spare me the humiliation of asking if the toothbrush I packed was one that my dentist gave to me at my most recent appointment.

    A magnifying glass

    Carrying a magnifying glass means you’re a detective, you can’t read small print, or you’re going to brutally incinerate some ants with some help from the sun. Regardless of which one is true, it’s quirky and mysterious, which means packing a magnifying glass is a must.

    Non-gummy multivitamins

    After a long day scolding travelers for their aerosol deodorants, my traditional vitamins – definitive proof that I don’t need to close my eyes and pretend I’m eating gummy bears when getting my nutrients – will be a glimmer of hope for humanity in an otherwise thankless day.

    A foreign language dictionary

    Security will silently congratulate me for my intentions to assimilate abroad while I think of different sigh variations I can use during my travels when I come across a local who can’t communicate with me in my omnipresent native tongue.

    A stockpile of travel size cosmetics and toiletries I won’t actually use

    Things like blackhead astringent, eucalyptus oil, a toe separator, and avocado cuticle balm really have no place in my luggage, but to security, they represent fragments of an elaborate mosaic of the sophisticated, composed woman sweeping through the metal detector like a manicured hand summoning paper towels from an automatic dispenser.

    A package of Fig Newtons

    Because after all that, I really want airport personnel to remember I’m still a Fig Newton gal at heart.


    The School Supply List, Translated by Dad’s Midlife Crisis

    Backpack (no wheels)

    I was 13 when the best day of my life happened—I remember it like it was yesterday. The patched pocket of my green JanSport bag was filled to the brim with rocks I found along the stream behind Rigdy’s Auto Shop. Most Wednesdays after school a group of us guys would ride our bikes up the road to old Pelican Pond to skip rocks. It was overcast the day I challenged Timmy “Tricky Thumbs” Watson to a skipping contest. I beat his record of 7 skips that day. For the rest of the year, everyone called me Skipper. I was a legend. Maybe I’ll give ol’ Timmy a call and demand a rematch. Show him who the real Skipper is.

    What’s that sweetheart? Yes, of course we can get the backpack with the sparkly ponies.

    Four two-pocket folders

    The year was 1989. I was shadowing Walter Washington at the licorice factory the summer before I went off to college. Dad had gotten me the gig, and it made him feel important to have finally created some footsteps I was willing to follow. My first big assignment was preparing three folders with handouts for an important client presentation. Eager to make a good impression, I created an extra, fourth folder just in case. During lunch, Mr. Washington spilled horseradish sauce on one of the folders. With just fifteen minutes until the meeting, my fourth folder saved the day. After the meeting Mr. Washington put his heavy hands on my shoulders and said, “Son, you have a bright future ahead of you.” I wish I could have bottled that moment and sipped it each day for the rest of my life.

    Remind daddy he has to stop at the liquor store on the way home from Target, okay honey?

    One composition notebook

    To most people, Meredith Barber was just a girl in my British Lit class, but to me she was the queen in the chess match of my college days, and I her lowly pawn. She never went anywhere without that black and white composition notebook of hers. O! How I ached to know what was inside. Did she doodle in the margins? Did it contain the secrets of how her eyes were an unspoiled blue like a sea untouched by the waste of mankind? She once told me her favorite constellation was Cassiopeia and I thought to myself, “What a thing to say!” I wonder what she’s doing now.

    Yeah, sure, mommy had a notebook, too.

    One box (24 ct.) crayons

    Chad Schmidt, the new hotshot VP at the office, parked his obnoxious new Porsche 718 Boxster next to me last week. He made a big production about admiring his front driver’s side tire like there might be a prize from a cereal box hidden in the hubcap. I could tell he wouldn’t stop ogling his vehicle until I made a comment, so I rolled down the window and said, “Got the yellow one, huh? Nice,” at which he bristled and said, “This is dandelion.” But he pronounced the “lion” with a French accent like lee-ohn. Then he made some remark about getting good gas milage on my Honda Civic, the ultimate snub in masculine car conversations. I thought back to that discussion ten years ago when I told Jessica I was finally going to buy the Ferrari I’ve been dreaming about since the day I was born, but she just found out she was pregnant, and suddenly every penny I had was repossessed, consumed by diapers and future college funds. Sometimes I just want to take all that money and buy the car I deserve. Wouldn’t the kids rather have student loans than a husk of their father?

    Anyway, you’re going to draw so many pretty pictures with these!!! By the way, is it too soon for you to tell if you’ll be going to an Ivy League school? Daddy’s making some projections.

    One box of #2 pencils

    Sometimes I feel like a pencil. Each time I grow show sharper, part of me is worn away. The shavings of myself are everywhere, worthless once hewn from the whole. It’s within my power to erase the things I’ve done, but I’m completely powerless to control my own destiny. At any moment, I feel I could break, splinter, or snap.

    But to answer your question, yes, those mechanical pencils do match your pencil case.