Ventfest: Bathroom Talk…

sb10068645n-001Other people have shower thoughts. I have bathroom thoughts…

I’ll explain.

The other day, I walked into my work bathroom, and had a very difficult decision: regular stall or handicapped stall. Now I know there’s some sort of twisted guy science to picking a urinal, and I think that there’s a similar science to women choosing a stall. I either choose the stall closest to me in order to minimize time wasted in the bathroom. Or I choose the handicapped stall.

While I was coming to this awkwardly timed realization, I started wondering… I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one with a tendency towards choosing the handicapped stall. But, um, why? It’s not a bedroom or a new apartment. It’s not like I have legs up to my elbows. Why, exactly, do I feel the need to have an extra square foot or two while I sit on my porcelain throne for an average 21 seconds (Blech, what poor person has to do that research)?

All potty talk aside, I decided it has to do with my culture – and I say my culture because it’s likely other people aren’t as “cultured” in this sense as I am. I grew up with brothers and have always felt competitive. I compete for attention, time, internships. I, friends, am a squirrel. I squirrel away, hoard, and fight to keep jobs, relationships, money, winning, stuff (why do you think I need Perfect 10). I keep score.

It’s a problem. I think.

This isn’t one of those posts where I wax poetic on how I’m going to downsize my life and minimize and revamp my intentions and whatever other advice I learned in my most recent self-help selection. I’m just saying I sometimes venture into the bathroom. And I have thoughts. And sometimes they happen at the same time. I’m also going to probably go against my intuition when it comes to picking stalls from now on, lest I go with the stall that most people contaminate.

You’re welcome for that visual.

Ventfest: My last Northeastern shuffle

photo1Shortly after attending AB’s graduation last May, when he graduated magna cum laude—you go, babe—I was informed that my graduation year would have different cum laude requirements. Namely, the cum laude minimum would jump from 3.25 to 3.5. No public press release, no explanation, nada.

When I reached out to my J-school dean, to my academic advisor, to my career advisor… they all gave me the “Northeastern shuffle,” kindly shuffling me and my questions/requests along to the next open door (Side note: after starting a new magazine on campus, and successfully weaseling my way out of a study abroad program—complete with lawyer intervention—you’d think I’d have mastered the Northeastern shuffle…but alas).

I had little over a semester to get my GPA to jump to 3.5. Which, I later calculated, would have been impossible in the time allotted. I kept thinking “They can’t do that,” to which AB coolly responded, “They’re a private institution. They can do whatever they want.” To say I was pissed is to completely undermine the intensity of the powerless, David-vs.-Goliath, I-want-to-freaking-smack-my-school-upside-the-head hatred that I was not-so-successfully trying to quiet.

For starters, I would be graduating only 7 months after AB’s class, arguably competing with them for jobs, and someone with the same GPA as I would be able to list cum laude on the resume. Secondly, it’s about the damn principle of the thing; don’t go changing shit behind my back, not telling me in any sort of respectable manner, not providing any sort of explanation for why this move might be a strategic decision for the university (or whatever), and not granting me the respect of listening to my frustrations. And thirdly, I graduated with a 3.48 GPA which is, like, thisfreakingclose, right?

Once I realized my efforts and As were for not (sort of), I pulled a DGAF moment, finished a glass of champagne with my parents via Skype, and washed my hands of the Northeastern shuffle forever. Then, last week, my mom sent me an email with pictures of my degree. And then texted me to check my email. And then called me. Twice.

Apparently, the blurry picture of a form letter which she sent outlined how I Northeastern had decided to grandfather my class in. When I looked closer, I realized the degree with my name on it had a very subtle cum laude underneath. Bow. Chica. WowWow. Never mind that I was thisclose to magna cum laude (under the old qualifications) Whatever, I’ll take what I can get. I’m finished. And proud! Cheers, friends.

Why the Semicolon is Sexy

I realize that for some people, punctation is just a fact of reading and writing, a necessary way to break up thoughts and words. But ooh how they miss the point(s and swooshes). Punctuation is the intent of the writer, it takes the words and turns them into a voice. Punctuation is “punchy” and manipulative and oh, so sexy.

Yes, sexy. Punctuation is sexy. And of all the punctuation marks in the entirety of the German and Roman languages of the world, all the dots and swooshy commas and explanatory m-dashes and elusive ellipses… The semicolon is by far the sexiest bit of punctuation the world has ever known. If I could make love to a piece of punctuation, you can bet it’d be that seductive little sucker.

With its dot and its swoosh, it vaguely resembles an eager little spermy tadpole scurrying to create life. It’s not just sexy; it’s straight-up procreation. Creation of life. Or voice. Or whatever. It’s Freudian, and thus dripping in sexual everything.

Lingerie is sexy because it hints at what lies beneath. Semicolons are sexy because they hint at what is to come (See? Another Freudian slip).

The semicolon finishes a thought, but still keeps the reader sitting at the edge of their seat, drooling with anticipation over what could possibly come next. It grabs the reader by their tie and pulls them in close, brushes their lips, and then loosens its grip ever so slightly, never sacrificing its power.

It’s a gentle tease, that saucy little minx. 

Ventfest: Monkey Suits and Momma’s Shoes

The other day, I watched my friend head to his job at a major Boston financial firm, wearing a suit and bowtie (It was “Bowtie Monday,” obviously). As he walked away in his monkey suit, I couldn’t help but think he looked a little like a kid in his dad’s suit, or a girl plodding around in her mother’s high heels.

We like to think that we’re all grown up now, no longer teenagers (unless you’re me), living on our own, working full-time, managing our own finances–even doing our own taxes. We cook and clean and separate lights from darks. Some people even think they’re old enough to get married.

But the reality of the world is I’m just as young as my (real) ID says I am. I’m reliant on my parents for emotional support and financial support, I’m listed as a dependant on their taxes, and I have no idea how to work insurance.

I’m a child, yes, but I’ve realized lately that age doesn’t equate to maturity. Two people whom I used to confide in, two people I loved, have hurt me in the past couple of months. Continue reading