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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Skylar Gets Swindled


First of all, I’m sorry that I haven’t written anything in literally 5 months. It’s not that nothing interesting has happened in my life (child, please. We all know my antics), it’s just that I’ve been pursuing adulthood so aggressively that I haven’t had the chance to write anything down. In summary: new job, new exceptionally good looking boyfriend, new investment account, and new mascara. I can also now do 190 lbs on the seated leg press at the gym. #Swole

Things were going pretty uncharacteristically fabulous in my life, and then two days ago I was brought back to reality by the most bougie homeless man to ever exist. His dietary choices mixed with my staunch gullibility once again beg the question, “How do these things always happen to you?!” to which I reply, “Shoot me in the face.”
Here’s how my most recent interaction with a hobo friend went down:

I was walking to the gym after work, stopped to watch the game going down at the West 4th Street Basketball Courts, didn’t get the opportunity to yell, “AND 1!”, got bored and kept going. All of a sudden a man comes up to me and asks, “Excuse me, do you have a dollar?”

Now, everyone knows that the answer to this question is “No.” Not because you’re a bad person, or cheap, or a liar, but because homeless people run rampant and if I gave them all of my dollars I wouldn’t have anything left to impulse-buy Pretzel M&M’s with in my bi-weekly moments of weakness. At this time, I had nine single dollars in my wallet, which is a rarity, and as selfish as it may sound I was guarding them with my over-privileged life.

“No, I’m sorry,” I replied to the man who will now be known as Richie Rich.
“Would you mind buying me some food?”
Ugh, tug at my heartstrings, Richie. I literally don’t know what came over me, but I agreed.
“There’s a Morton Williams right around the corner.”
“Sure, let’s go.”
 
As we walk and chat about things like the warmer weather and allergies, I started to take stock of what exactly I was dealing with. Number one, he was wearing relatively new looking shoes. In my top 10 most recent homeless-guy experiences, 80% of them are wearing holey black Velcro New Balances with the pinky toe displayed prominently, so this was new. Second, he was wearing clean Adidas track pants and carrying a multi-pocketed Jansport that for the purposes of this story appeared much more high-tech than your standard shopping cart. Interesting, to say the least.

“I’m really trying to get my energy up,” Richie Rich said.
“That’s always a good plan.”
“Have you heard of Kombucha?”
Yes, Richie, I’m a white girl from the ‘burbs who befriends several health nuts, follows fitspo Instagram accounts, and pins quinoa recipes on Pinterest; of course I’ve heard of Kombucha.
“I really like the Multi-Green one. It’s a great detoxifier.”
WHAT WHAT WHAT.
“And I’m a vegetarian so it’s a great supplement to that type of diet.”
“Yeah, so I’ve heard.”
 
Everyone stop laughing immediately. I was already pretty keen to what was happening and it was not cool.

Richie continues to explain the different benefits of a variety of products typically found at Whole Foods and I just nodded in defeat. We arrive at the grocery store and still giving him some semblance of the benefit of the doubt, I think we’ll go straight to the prepared food section, he’ll grab a veggie sandwich and his damn fermented tea concoction, and we’ll be out.

Nope.
Richie grabs a fucking basket.
 
So there we are, the Odd Couple shopping for Tuesday Night Dinner. Richie throws Kombucha, premade samosas, two Vitamin Waters (Restore flavor), and a box of Boca burgers in his basket, along with a toothbrush and my trustfulness. It crossed my mind several times to say, “Are you kidding me?” and dipset, but the small chance that this was maybe the only thing Richie would eat for the next couple of days coupled with me potentially being the girl who left a homeless man in the aisle of the grocery store with food he couldn’t pay for made me stay.
We get up to the checkout line and he tosses it all on the conveyer belt like he’s done this a few times before, which…..I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’. The cashier looks at me out of pity and confusion, which is something I’m used to but was much more attentive to in this situation because that’s exactly how I would've looked at me, too. I had let my conscience be my guide and now I was planning on speaking to her in my office the next morning and putting her on leave without pay, because she was an idiot.
Everything is rung up to a grand total of $52.11, which is more than I spend on groceries for myself for an entire week. I swiped with undetectable hesitation and kept the receipt to wipe off my shame later that night. Richie and I walk out of the store holding hands (jk) and I’m just about to launch into a full-on sprint when he says, “There’s a Duane Reade right down the street….”

Really? Really.

“Sorry dude, I’ve got to go.”
“Oh okay, thanks again then!”
“Ohhhh you are so welcome.”
 
If you think it ends there you clearly need to backtrack and read some more of my life tales because it most definitely does NOT, per usual.

The next night, I was walking with my boyfriend and another friend through the same area. I had just finished telling them this exact story, and they berated me for being naïve and oblivious, and I was agreeing but defending it all by saying, “Hey, at least my karma’s in check.”
 
We’re about to cross the street when a man rounds the corner.
“Excuse me, do you have a dollar?”
They both automatically say no and keep moving.
I start violently squeezing my boyfriend’s hand.
“THAT WAS HIMMMM!” I hissed.

Predictable “NO WAY”’s and “Are you sure?”’s and “GO YELL AT HIM!”’s were thrown around but obviously did not occur. Richie might’ve been wearing a Rolex and applying a mud mask to his face when he passed on his way to a candle-lit hot yoga class, but who could be sure.

So I’m back and arguably better than ever, friends. For my sake, I hope my life will return to a state of boring normalcy. It won’t, though, and you’re all welcome for that, I guess. Raise a glass of brewed yeast and bacteria encased in cellulose to being young and dumb; I have like three more weeks of being able to get away with it!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hobo Friends

Antonio. Donald. Q. Whistles (legal name).

These are just a few of the fine friends I've made over the past few years who just happen to live on the streets. Can I call them my homies if they don't technically have homes? I feel like that's not a cool question to ask.

For whatever reason, I seem to have a special connection with these people--it's probably the fact that I grew up in the white suburbs of Northern Virginia with four Panera's in a 10-mile radius, but who really knows. These relationships have come about largely because I don't know how to avert my eyes or resist responding to someone who calls me "Little Lady." Homeless people are people too! My kind of people:

Antonio - Antonio frequented the corner of the street near my magazine internship when I lived in Kentucky. He practiced the hollaback tactic, where he'd strike up random conversation with any and everyone and after a few solid minutes of talking would casually throw in that he needed five bucks. I was a poor college student so I typically told him, "Yeah man, same," and we'd laugh and laugh and then he'd ignore me, but there were a couple of times where I brought him a Starbucks Iced Coffee that secured me a spot on his good side. I never got to say good-bye to him when that internship finished up, but with Antonio and I, it was never going to be good-bye, just see you later.

Russ - Russ was the first of many homeless buddies I made when I worked in DC. Russ never asked for money or food, but was quick to dole out a compliment, usually in the spring or summer when it was skirt season. "Girl, the fire department know about dem legs? Because they makin' me HOT!" is a personal favorite. Russ always, always, always wanted a hug, but the closest I'd let him get was a fist bump or high five with an exaggeratedly extended arm because while I love new friends, I'm a far cry from Mother Theresa.

Q - Q is a frienemy. Every single morning for over a year, he was waiting at the top or bottom of the escalator at my Metro stop ready to harass me with his beatboxing or outbursts of pure gibberish. For the most part I could ignore him, but one fateful day I was just not having it, and when he lunged in front of me shouting nonsense, I looked him straight in his lazy eye and yelled, "CAN YOU FUCKING NOT?" I gained Q's respect that day. For the next 3 months, I could hear the "bm-ts bm k bm tkt bm" as I approached, but as soon as we crossed paths, he would go silent and we would exchange a head nod/eyebrow raise of friendship. I only learned of his deceitful ways when one day, I overheard him having a normal, gibberish-free conversation with a traffic cop. I quit my job three days later because I couldn't stand to face him ever again.

Tyrone - Tyrone has set the standard for NYC hobo friends. He's a musician (peep the business card), a comedian, a people person, and has 4 teeth. Tyrone posts himself up mid-platform at the Lexington Avenue-53rd Street subway station with a guitar, microphone, boom box, and duffel bag of tricks. There was recently another guy there trying to serenade the commuters with a lovely rendition of Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide," and Tyrone shut it down with a mostly-freestyled version of "Every Breath You Take" by The Police. Nice try, Stevie Nicks, this is Tyrone Territory. Every evening I see him there, we wave to each other, and he asks me when we're going to work out together (I sometimes have my gym bag). I never answer this question because I'm terrified I'm just being naïve and not getting the innuendo; however, I'd be more than happy to collaborate on a "More Than Words" duet whenever he asks.


I swear to God I have real friends too, but sometimes even they can't hold a candle to the likes of my hobros. When was the last time any of you gifted me a bracelet made of straw wrappers? Your impeccable hygiene and consistent income do not interest me--give me a wool blanket and some dingy fingernails any day of the week.


Like what you read? I'm this entertaining 24/7 on Twitter. Follow me @BTDubs_Skylar!

Monday, January 5, 2015

A Friend for All Seasons

I'm fortunate enough to have a very large, very diverse group of ladyfrands stationed all over the country to assist in every freak out, humble brag and what-if scenario. These girls are all special in their own ways, which not only keeps things interesting but is also super handy when I need advice on something that Jennifer is too religious for but is right up Sasha's alley (no offense) (slut).

Everyone needs a friend for every conceivable life scenario. I've enlisted the help of my beebs and had them send me some of their favorite examples of convos with friends that they definitely could not have with anyone else. (Livin' with my bitches, #LIVE.)



 
 

The McFriend - This sweetheart would never, ever judge you for eating delicious snacks, especially when they're bacon-wrapped. She is crucial, because while the rest of your friends are trying juice cleanses and eating kale and cucumber salads, this faithful comrade will indulge every edible whim and snag some extra ketchup and/or honey mustard. She personifies the judgment-free zone, and will always be quick to blame your slight weight gain on water weight or your period, because it sure as hell wasn't your recent three-day-long Chipotle binge.
The Ex Sympathizer - Everyone has exes, and everyone has exes that won't go away. Some friends turn into feminists when you mention you and your ex were casually texting the other day and berate you for "going back to that pathetic piece of trash loser." Way harsh, Tai. This friend understands that shit happens, and that if you happen to wake up next to that piece of trash loser one morning after a night of innocent reminiscing over Patron Café shots, worse things have happened. They may not encourage further chats with said piece of trash, but they're probably texting you the message to the left immediately after waking up next to their own pathetic loser. Condolence high five!






The Creep - While most girls are not "psychos," we do all have some rather eccentric thoughts that occasionally float around in our heads. Do we plan to act on them? No. Is it nice to know that someone will have our back 110% if we ever decide we want to? Absolutely. The Creep will take your weird idea and take it a step further to say, "Hey! You're not alone! I, too, am a recreational sociopath! Let's get brunch."












The Nasty Gal - Some girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice. Others are absolutely disgusting. This friend is clutch when you haven't showered/shaved your legs/swiped your Woman Card in three weeks and you just feel like sharing something grotesque. She probably has brothers or just really couldn't give less of a fuck about social norms, and has no problem discussing bodily functions at length. While this friend may not be your first choice to bring as a plus one to your meeting with Her Majesty the Queen, she's the perfect sidekick for an all-night bar hop that may or may not end with eating cheese fries off the floor.









The Cosmo - True to her name, this friend is a walking women's magazine. Quick with a sex tip of the day, questionable first date advice, and a seemingly endless supply of photos such as the one to the right, she will never need you hangin' should you need some *ahem* emotional uplifting. Perhaps not the ideal candidate to get you through a serious life crisis, but if you're just looking for a quick pick-me-up, you've got your girl.













The Fort Knox - This girl is a steel trap. If and when you decide to do something semi-socially uncouth like join a sugar daddy website or sell your eggs on Craigslist, she will be your emergency contact and confidante in case the meet-up goes awry. She'd never dream of letting your secret slip because while she's not one to criticize, at the end of the day you both know that your scheme for bagging a rich dude/making some extra cash is a little sad. Whatever, you do you. FK is a text away at any hour of the night or day!















 The Disney Channel - Sometimes, it's nice to have someone around who doesn't look down upon you for the fact that you still love old TV shows as much as you did in 2001. Sometimes, it's nice to watch these shows together via Skype, text, or Facebook message. Sometimes, you still cry when the Bug Juice campers leave at the end of the summer and even though half of them will be back next year it's still a big deal and you consider them your friends. Sometimes, it's obvious why you're [both] alone on a Friday night. Yikes.










If you have a friend that encompasses all of the above traits and more, she is a magician and might also be fake. It's nice to spread your ridiculousness out over a few different people anyway, lest they get sick of your nonsense and abandon you altogether. Seek out each of your friends for their individual strengths--especially the one who is good with makeup and hair. That is one essential betch.


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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

How To Give The Perfect Gift

I'm not gonna sugar coat it: I judge people who give bad gifts.

Yes, this goes entirely against the spirit of the holiday season, and maybe I'm just an exceptional Kris Kringle (hair toss), but I really don't understand people who wrap up a copy of WINE for Dummies, laugh when you open it while explaining, "Everyone knows Skylar can't say NO to MERLOT" (for the thousandth time, I like Cabernet Sauvignon, you thoughtless piece of trash), and sit back giving themselves a pat on the back for half-assing it through yet another birthday party for Jesus.

This is avoidable. You don't have to be the dud who everyone prays doesn't pick them for Secret Santa/Mysterious Maccabi! A few easy tips are all that stand between you and a genuine, "Wow! Thank you so much!" or this:




Step 1: Get your head out of your own ass - The holidays are not the time to change someone; we reserve that for 30th birthdays, interventions, and serious relationships. Giving a friend a box set of Josh Groban's best duets because you yourself are a Grobanite is not a gift, it's sadism with a bow on top. If you attend aerial yoga four nights a weeks and think everyone should attend aerial yoga four nights a week and cornered your petrified sister-in-law after dinner to discuss the overwhelming calmness brought on by swaying savasana, you're just being a holly jolly jackass when everyone unwraps silk hammocks and nods at you with thinly-veiled contempt.



Step 2: Listen, Linda - I am an elephant--I forget nothing. I still remember a guy I was seeing in 2010 mentioning that when he got home from school as a kid, his mom would make him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on rye while he watched Captain Planet. I literally have zero use for this information now, but it's stuck in there for life. The key to being an excellent gift-giver is not to rely on what the recipient mentions they want between November 29 and January 1; it's reaching all the way back to May when they talked about how much they loved boudin sausage on their recent visit to New Orleans and signing them up for a Cajun cooking class. How can you not get the warm and fuzzies from knowing you gave the perfect gift they didn't even know they wanted?



Step 3: Stand and Deliver - The above being said, if a loved one asks for something specific, don't go nuts trying to outdo yourself when there wasn't even a competition. Your cousin wants a book on Moroccan culture? Don't buy her a plane ticket to Marrakesh, just give her the freaking book. Most people, myself included, feel like this is the one time of year they can express their want for something without coming off like Veruca Salt; don't make me feel even more unnecessarily guilty by going completely overboard with my simple, "if it's not too much trouble" request.



Step 4: Change it up - We get it, your dad is a Packers fan. How many DVD's can he possibly watch highlighting their 1967 season? How much Green Bay barware can he really drink out of? What is the man going to do with a chunk of grass from Lambeau Field?! You have to realize when enough is enough. While he may be thrilled with end zone seats to the Packers vs. Bears game (duh), if you give him a Fat Head of Jerry Kramer - SURPRISE! - you're paying off your own student loans from now on, fucker.



Step 5: Enjoy it - If you view holiday shopping as a chore, you're 99% of what's wrong with the world (the other 1%: the fact that American Idol is still on the air. What the hell are we even doing). I'd venture to guess that the children of the middle-aged mom I witnessed viciously scream at a Foot Locker employee over the lack of color choices for Nike Hyperdunks would rather just receive a plain old basketball and call it a year. If you're getting bent out of shape over a 20%-off coupon, you need to shred your credit cards and check yourself. Hard. This season is supposed to be fun; don't ruin it for the rest of us just because you didn't manage to snag the last Nerf N-Strike Elite Nerf Cam ECS-12 Blaster. The BOOMco. Rapid Madness Blaster will suffice.

 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Playing With Myself for the Holidays

In a nutshell
I love my family. I frequently want to punch them all square in the face, but I love them.
Going home for the holidays is great because it's a very rare occasion that all five of us (parentals + brothers + me) are in the same place at the same time, but in our household, the Three Day Rule stands: We love hanging out, laughing, retelling stories for the thousandth time, eating disgusting amounts of food, and sharing an understanding that the dog is the best thing that ever happened to the entire world; but after 72 hours, it's definitely time to go.


I'm sure your family is the same way. How does one survive family time without completely losing their shit? You make a game out of it, of course! See also: alcohol.

Keep Away: If every single member of your extended family gets along swimmingly, you practice witchcraft. We're all blood and should love each other unconditionally, blah blah blah, NEWS FLASH: Here in the real world, Uncle Ned and Cousin Bradley hate each other's guts. It's fantastic. What's not fantastic is their differing religious beliefs ruining the enjoyment of perfectly good stuffing, so it's fun to get creative with how far away from each other you can actually keep them.
"Hey Uncle Ned! Have you ever seen my dance recital video from 1998? They're watching it now in the basement! All the way downstairs! Yep keep going."
"Cousin Bradley remember when you backpacked through Europe? See if you still have your hiking skills and go upstairs."


Mad Libs: My grandma has gotten to the point where she can't remember anything. Conversations are carousel rides that touch on relationship status, how you like your job, if where you live is safe, and when you're coming to visit her. And round and round we go. If you truthfully answered these questions each time she asked (roughly 15 times each over the course of an hour), you would go crazy. Answering them differently each time may earn you dirty looks from the others, but Grandma is very accepting of whatever answer you give her (unless you say you're single), so you might as well keep it interesting.

Wait What?: My mom has an interesting habit of listening to you until she doesn't feel like it anymore, i.e. you're in the middle of your story and you can see her mentally removing herself from the moment. It's incredibly frustrating if you're not ready for it. If you are, you seize the opportunity and start talking about absolute bullshit. The goal is to see how absurd of a point you can get your story to until she tunes back in.
"Oh so I went to this networking event a few weeks ago in the Lower East Side. It was cool, lots of freelance writers and..." *there she goes* "...heroin. Heroin everywhere. I shot it up with a midget who looked like the mini love child of Steve Buscemi and Giada de Laurentiis. His veins were collapsed so we had to find one in the bottom of his leprechaun foot. I also ate like five shish kabobs-" "FIVE?!"



Puppy Puke: People watch TV shows and think it's okay to give the dog human food because that's how kids on 1950s sitcoms got rid of their brussel sprouts. LOL classic. Fast forward to the pooch consuming turkey, cornbread, peas, and rice casserole over the course of three hours and try to guess if he'll puke all over the living room before or after your brother conveniently disappears when it's time to do the dishes. Another approach is to count the amount of times you tell your dad not to give the dog any people food because it's really not good for him, only to have him respond, "He likes it!" then tell you you're overreacting when you call him stupid while blotting vomit out of a rug. I hope you're reading this, Bill.

The Significant Otherlympics: Family calamity is one thing when you're generally immune to it. When you're an outsider who's trying to impress everyone while acting like the suffocating passive aggression  wafting over the table isn't awkward at all, the holidays are taken to a completely new level. Watching your sibling's "special friend" try to keep their facial twitch under control while Aunt Susan blatantly insults your mom's cooking might as well be the height of a figure skater's triple axel: will they nail it? Will they fall? WHAT WILL HAPPEN? When two or more boyfriend/girlfriends are present at the table, you can pit them against each other in a battle of wits to see who deserves to still be around come Valentine's Day:
"Hey Pete, you're really pro gun control right?"
"Yeah..."
"And Brooke, you're an atheist right?"
"...Yes..."
"Wonderful. Have you met my grandpa? The 65-year member of the NRA and ruthless Catholic? Aaand GO!"



Good luck this holiday season! Maybe the fam will finally remember that you're a vegetarian (and have been since 2009) this year! Just kidding, they won't.


Like what you read? I'm this entertaining 24/7 on Twitter. Follow me @BTDubs_Skylar!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

6 Can-They-Please-Catch-On Beauty Trends

I am a lover of all things beauty related.
I have rewards accounts at both Ulta and Sephora that I monitor more stringently than my credit card balance; I have tried every new mascara that has ever been on the market; my hair routine for a night out is the stuff of legends; and I own six different kinds of makeup primer.


Once while getting ready, an old boyfriend started criticizing my lengthy beauty regimen and went so far as to add a soundtrack to the experience by playing "Waitin' on a Woman" by Brad Paisley on repeat until I was finished. The fact that I witnessed him receiving high fives from strangers later that night aside (HUMBLE BRAG YOU'RE WELCOME), he may have had a point.

This could all be avoided if the beauty industry would ease up on the expectations and complicated routines. Did you know you're supposed to layer up to six different skincare products to achieve maximum facial perfection, AND that you should wait three to five minutes between each product? I love my medicine cabinet of potions but I am nowhere near that diligent.

The following are the 6 beauty trends that I wish would catch on for the sake of my schedule, my wallet, and my love life. Or maybe just the first two; a dude who wears Crocs should never have a definitive opinion on the way you do your thang.

1. GROWN-bré - My hair is naturally medium brown but I get it highlighted because Barbie was always cooler than her brunette friend Midge. Unfortunately, hair does this hilarious bit where it grows (in my case, rapidly) and my roots constantly reveal my secret too soon. Spending over $100 every six to eight weeks to keep up with my mane just isn't happening, so I propose we embrace GROWN-bré, where I completely abandon the upkeep of my highlights and everyone compliments me on my roots while admiring my laziness/cheapness. It's like when girls intentionally dye their hair ombré, except more poor.

 

2. Callouses? More like CUTESES! - My feet are absolutely disgusting and I'm weirdly proud of it. My pride and joy are my callouses, which are so thick from dance, running, and wearing absurdly sexy shoes that I could probably stick a needle half an inch into them before I started to feel anything (you're welcome for that visual). The ladies at the nail salon like to make a show out of pumicing these babies down when I get a pedicure, but why even bother? Smooth feet may be sexy feet but I'd much rather be the badass walking on broken glass without flinching.

Problem solved!

3. Cough "Negative Space Manicure" Cough - AKA let me wear my chipped nail polish in peace. Do I love how my nails look when they're perfectly painted and shiny? Yes. Do I use my hands way too much to keep them that way for longer than 12 hours? Nailed it (ba dum chh). Negative space manicures were a huge trend at Fashion Week and were dubbed the "cutout dress of the nail world," so by comparison I guess letting your mani completely go to shit could be considered the "ripped up skirt from sitting on the corner of U Street crying into the phone at your Uber driver Jesus Skylar get it together...of the nail world." Style is forever, you guys.

Just keepin' up with the trends

4. Uneven Eyeliner Wings - This would change my outlook on life 110%. Why can't one extend a little further than the other? Why can't they be of varying thicknesses? Is it crucial that they both aim a little past the tip of my eyebrow? Did Twiggy realize the amount of stress she was putting on me when she spearheaded this trend in the 60s? It's too much. It is too. much.



5. Legitimate Bedhead - There's "I literally rolled out of bed and didn't even bother to glance at a hairbrush before I came here" bedhead, and then there's "I woke up two hours ago and used salt spray, root lifter, volumizing powder, and mousse along with a diffuser to look this nonchalant" bedhead. The former is reminiscent of homeless chic and causes friends to plan interventions, while the latter is a complete oxymoron. People who claim they achieve their look by doing the former are liars and can Derelick my balls, capítan.



6. Designer Dark Circles - I'm tired, you're tired, we're all fucking tired, and I don't feel like faking being alert by pressing cold spoons on my eyes and caking on the concealer. Let's just accept that I look like a zombie, make our crack whore comparisons, and get on with our day. Standing in the makeup aisle analyzing plastic skin tone samples against my jawbone (or is it wrist?) to determine the most convincing shade for me is not only impossible but a serious waste of time, one that could probably afford me the extra twenty minutes of sleep I need to avoid dark circles in the first place.

NO ONE IS SAFE

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