I remember Thanksgiving 2008 not because of the turkey (which came in the form of a Capriotti’s Bobbie, basically an entire turkey dinner on a hoagie complete with stuffing, cranberry sauce, and love), not because of the family (I mean, they’re great but they weren’t that much different than they are any other Thanksgiving), and not because of the butter we had in the shape of a turkey (ok, partially because of the butter-turkey) but because of one word.
Jawrockers. That’s what my beautiful cousin, Devon, called my breasts at the time. Admittedly, this picture might not be doing them justice. But at the time, my bras were larger than I ever imagined they’d be since they first appeared as mosquito bites in 1999 at the tender age of 12 (is there a letter before AA? No? Just making sure.)
See, one of the perks of being 40 pounds heavier was that at least 10 of them were dedicated to my chest region. And, while the rest of me was certainly rounder and wider than I liked, the boob thing…. well that was pretty nice. I was filling out shirts and dresses with lower cuts than I would’ve dared earlier in my life, the deeper the V, the better for me!
And it’s very easy to hide your growing weight problem underneath a healthy serving of cleavage. That’s mostly what I did. I stopped wearing fitted pants and jeans, refusing to bump up a size or two, and instead rocked leggings and low-cut dresses mostly always. No one looks at your stomach when you jam your chest in their face, right?
And then, in March 2010, I started this whole “let’s stop being an unhealthy slob” movement that kind of totally transformed my life and my body. And, as the pounds melted off my body, I bid my jawrockers a fond farewell, tucking my enormous bras into boxes to save just in case I needed to transport softballs or grapefruits on my chest in some strange future scavenger hunt or obstacle course. Initially, I missed my lovely lady lumps. I’d grown fond of their sweater-filling capabilities and won’t even pretend like I minded the extra attention they tended to bring. But then, something beautiful happened. Without these obnoxious knockers, I could finally embrace the free-spirited attire of one of my reality TV idols.
Yes, Kaia, the never-not-nude lady from The Real World: Hawaii. Seriously: did this chick EVER wear a bra? Hell, she rarely saw fit to wear a shirt…. And though she was often over-shadowed by Tec’s wild antics, Ruthie’s struggle with alcoholism, or Amaya’s enormous
breasts drama, Kaia was my favorite. And if her membership in the itty-bitty-titty-committee warranted a life full of coconut bikini tops and backless shirts…. why not me?
Thus began my romance with my less-than-well-endowed chest. And while I support all of you hearty bosomed babes out there, this is a post in honor of the rest of us. Those not graced with double Ds, the gals who prefer our mole hills to your mountains. This is a post in defense of small boobs.
Small boobs, while seemingly inconspicuous, can pack a punch. That is to say that they are shown to be more sensitive than the larger ones. That’s right, a study done at the University of Vienna found that “large” breasts were 24% less sensitive to touch than “small” ones. And while I refuse to read this study further since it’s Memorial Day Weekend and I’ve got enough scientific studies to read during school, I’m gonna go with “score” on that one.
With a small chest, we not only don’t have to worry about our posture as we have to strain to carry our over-the-shoulder-bolders, we also may have an easier time during breast self-exams. ”It’s easier to detect a lump in the back of smaller breasts, since there are fewer layers to feel through,” says oncologist Marisa Weiss, president and founder of breastcancer.org. So double score, there.
Not only am I saving a fortune by not buying bras (because, real talk, eff bras) BUT this whole bra-less thing might actually correlate with firmer, less droopy breasts in general. This bra vs. no bra study made me appreciate the French more than any fries, toast, or kissing (ok, maybe not that last one. French kissing is maybe better than this particular study….)
Oh, there’s also this:
I may or may not have bought this shirt in 5 different colors. (Spoiler alert: I definitely bought it in 5 different colors.) Victoria’s Secret gets it. They recognize that, while most of their models are rocking some serious sweater puppies, some of their clientele may not be so curvy. Enter: the bandeau. A small-chested lady’s best friend, this accessory not only protects you from nipping out when a stiff breeze comes along, it also can brighten your outfit with a POP of color. No underwire necessary. I’ll tell you one thing: I would NOT have been able to rock this style (or my bevy of bandeaus) 2 cup sizes ago….
I know that was a lot.
But I’m serious here, I can’t speak highly enough about a life sans Jawrockers. And while I’ll always think fondly of the days where my breasts could feasibly knock someone out, I couldn’t imagine being happier with my “exquisite miniatures” (Bamford, 2001).
Can I call you Jason? I think, considering our complicated and enduring past, I can. I could also call you one of the many nicknames I’ve given you over the past. J-babe. Jace. Seegs. Marshmallow (Yeah, I snagged that one from HIMYM, but I didn’t think you’d mind.) You can choose, but in the meantime, I’m good with Jason. I’m writing this to thank you. To thank you for acting as a (handsome) beacon of hope and humor for the past 17 years for me, and for women and men all over the place. The women and men who can recognize the beauty of the Ian Somerhalders, the Brad Pitts, the Ryan Goslings and the Channing Tatums, and find themselves aching for more. You are so much more than a pretty face (though your face is quite lovely).
For those of us who yearned for more air-headed stoners in pop culture, or those of us who mourned the lack of male full-frontal nudity, you were there. For us Amazon women who couldn’t help but notice the fact that Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Tom Cruise, Seth Green, and Scott Caan are all shorter than 5’8″, you stand proudly at 6’4″, a gangly bean pole of arms and legs, just begging to be climbed. (That’s what you do with bean poles, right? I don’t know, I’m not an expert. But that’s definitely what I’d like to do with you.)
I remember when I first saw you. Our eyes connected (well, my eyes connected to the pixels of your eyes) during the cult classic, Can’t Hardly Wait (one of the greatest examples of campy teen party flicks) and, as you described Preston, I knew you had a way with words. It’s only upon reviewing the clip as a grown woman that I noticed the way you worked that watermelon. My goodness, the things you were doing with your hands and mouth….
It wasn’t until my 8th grade English class that my heart really started to flutter. See, my teacher, whose name is escaping me, liked to show episodes of the all-too-short-lived Freaks and Geeks when he didn’t wanna teach. Or like, we finished tests early. I don’t know, like I said, I don’t really remember much of that time. But I do remember you, Jason.
You were the star of that show, Nick Andopolis. And the star of my 8th-grade fantasies. I’ve re-watched the entire series so much, I feel like I could disco dance with you with my eyes closed. I’d happily listen to you bang the drums, certain that they couldn’t overpower the drumming of my heart. I know you used to play basketball, so did I! But that’s not where our similarities stop.
First of all, the easy one. Your middle name is Jordan. It’s like your parents were ASKING you to meet me. (Yes, I recognized that your mother’s maiden name was Jordan. Don’t hit me on semantics here, a woman in love isn’t always the most logical human.) You grew up Jewish, thanks to your daddy. I LOVE Bar Mitzvahs (and Bat Mitzvahs, I’m an equal opportunity Jewish Party hound). We’ve both struggled with our weight over the years, a challenge for any particularly tall individual. I feel your pain, man. But we both got through it, hard work and determination and all.
You’re hilarious. We all know it. And, real talk, I think you’d find me pretty funny too. I’m not certain of this, but I feel confident. We’re both very tall, and I’d look great on your arm (or you on mine, rah rah gender equality and all.)
Your joy in The Muppets was palpable, and I wanted to climb through the screen and kiss your face. This makes me think that, if you can interact so well with puppets, you’d make a great father. Which is good because, as the eldest of 5 kids, I’m looking for baby daddy material. Also, you do well with nudity.
I know you said you did it for the laughs, but it takes a big man (#notaeuphemism) to embrace “dudity” in an industry where the nude female body is glorified and the nude male body generally receives shudders. Well, can I just tell you that in college, going streaking might as well have been an extracurricular activity for me. We could traipse around the world, flashing our goodies at onlookers and bringing smiles to the faces of all (for any reason they choose to smile).
Most of all, though, you’re patient. And I wanna thank you for that. Because, that one time that I
hunted stalked found you walking around on Bourbon Street, my heart jumped out of my throat. You were alone, enjoying your night. And, chances are, with my wild excitement and rapture (and kind of loud tendencies), I maybe ruined it by drawing attention to your existence. Within minutes, drunken sorority girls were begging you to sing them a Dracula song and bros were high fiving you as they nabbed some selfies.
Your patience allowed me to get maybe the coolest picture I’ve ever had of me in my entire life.
Admittedly, at the time, I was in NOLA with my former partner. So I didn’t throw myself at you in the manner which I may have under other circumstances. But it’s obvious here we’d make a cute couple. (I promise, I don’t always wear beads.)
I heard about your semi-recent breakup with Michelle Williams. I am sorry to hear about that, I know y’all had something good going for you. But I wanted to let you know that if you ever need a shoulder to cry on, a lady to grab a beer with, or a plus one for any event where leaning over for photo-ops sounds miserable, I’m your gal.
If I never see you again, know that our brief encounter was more than enough to fuel countless daydreams the world over. And if I do…. well, I’m just saying, I may not practice the same self-control I once did.
My last post was in mid-April. This, for me, is unheard of. Then again, I guess I never was in grad school before this year, and never juggling quite so many random things. Normally, when I come home from an evening of class, the last thing on my mind is blogging. And when I return after hours of Living Socially, I am too wiped to do anything but maybe sometimes just fall asleep immediately on my couch. Despite my bed being a mere 10 feet away.
All that aside, the past month has been jam-packed with so many papers, new opportunities (and not in the way that couples counseling tells you to call things you don’t like opportunities a la The Office, just really exciting ones), oodles of tasty foods, and definitely NOT enough working out. When I wasn’t in class or sleeping or working, I was generally feeling that guilt that only comes with school. That whole “I should be doing work, not having fun at Zumba class!!” I recognize this is a load of bull. But that’s where my head was going. Dumb.
Luckily, it paid off with the grades looking pretty excellent. I started working a new internship for some field work hours. I obtained a part-time job at Penn which should help pay the bills. But really, that’s the boring stuff I’ve been doing. Let’s get to the good stuff.
There’s been cheese, and lots of it. Some things I’ve been learning:
- Gruyere, I can do without you.
- Cheese should always be paired with new things. Get creative, ask your monger. The most interesting one I’ve tried lately? Oriol cheese paired with passionfruit jam, peanut butter, and banana chips. I know, it sounds revolting. BUT OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND YOUR MIND, PEOPLE! It’s a much sexier PB&J(&C) sammy.
- Gouda, like many wonderful things, gets finer with age. But you don’t necessarily need an ancient gouda. In fact, I tried a l’Amuse Gouda that was aged a mere two years that possessed the idea crystalline bits along with a richness and smoothness that isn’t always present in the older goudas.
- I can do damage on chevre. I need to stop buying it three wheels at a time.
- I’m still hunting for Bonne Bouche.
We had our retreat for Living Socially. It was a blast (too much of a blast for some of us, cough cough). But real talk, if you ever wanna know how to throw a successful Beer Olympics, just let me know. I’ve got the deets.
Martha and I went to the Philadelphia Science Festival Kickoff Carnival. We dusted with fingerprinting kits, made our own lip balm, tried Yards’ Pythagorean Beerum (Bahahaha craft beer names are the best), blew smoke from a mixture of giant marshmallows and liquid nitrogen (see the above photo) and played with the biggest thing of silly putty I’ve ever seen.
My “baby” brother Connor graduated from Penn State. I couldn’t be more proud.
It was incredible to be up in State College with ALL of my nuclear family. This like, NEVER happens. Things got a bit rowdy at times, but nothing a good family game of flip cup couldn’t resolve.
Well, now I have the next two weeks off from school before summer classes. My goals include: work as many hours as possible, be outside as much as possible, get to the shore at least once (cold weather be damned), try not to eat with quite as much reckless abandon as the last weekend (Penn State isn’t known for having tons of healthy options….), and not think about class at all. Other than obsessively checking online to see if my grades are posted.
Whew. That was a mouthful (a handful? Since I was typing?)
What stops you from posting, whether it’s on a blog or Twitter or Facebook? School pretty much always gets me, although when I’m reading some quality novels, I have no interest in writing. It’s a thing.
What game would you rock at in the Beer Olympics? I’ll give you a hint: mine was NOT Tour de Franzia.
When you love a person, it is the simplest thing to blind yourself to everyone else around you. What happens, then, when you fall in love with an entire group, a tightly knit band of men and women, without whom you can’t imagine your life? And what happens when, during a few blissful, choice weekends, you get to bask in their glory as a whole?
Well, if you’re me, there is lots of crying involved. Tears of joy, of course, because your heart feels certain it will erupt and spill emotions all over the floors so caked in glitter from the years that the shine has become permanent. And you don’t feel blind to anything else around you, but hyper aware that these are kindred spirits flitting and floating through rooms and fields of vision and you want to make sure you don’t miss a second.
My trip to North Carolina was complete with gorgeous weather, gorgeous people, and ducks.
There were old friends and new. Many of these people I haven’t seen since June, making it the longest amount of time I’ve been away. Since I graduated and moved just down the road (8 miles? chump change), I’ve always been lucky enough to just drive a few minutes to see my beloved fraternity. This was the first time I felt like one of those far-flung alums who comes home to revisit her glory days. I kind of had this fear that I’d feel left out. Like I’d be out of place since my past few occasions spent in NC weren’t focused on meeting the new people, and now they’re all new people.
It was just that: coming home. And who feels left out when they’re home? Certainly not this chick.
I flew back to Philadelphia Monday morning with a lightness in my heart (and a heaviness in my bag, as I smuggled about 4500 mL of beer back North). A lightness that reminds me that you can always go home, wherever home is. And, chances are, your family will be waiting with a song on the stereo and beers in the cooler. It’ll be just like you never left.
Thanks, North Carolina, for welcoming me back. I’ll see you soon, though not soon enough.
First, I’ve gotta give a huge shoutout to Yelp for being my number one benefactor since I’ve moved to Philadelphia. From Yelp Elite events to gifting me tickets that they raffled off for the Philly Geek Awards to introducing me to new friends, Yelp Philadelphia (and Michelle, specifically, my lovely community manager) has just welcomed me with open arms. And, since all I do is win (win win, no matter what), I won a pair of tickets to the AC Beer Festival from my beloved Yelp.
Upon my winning, I did what any social media maven would’ve done. I decided to see if I could upgrade this (already incredible) experience. I bragged about what a great beer drinker I was on the festival’s facebook page and, shortly before my Friday Festival trip, was informed that I’d be able to do some judging during the festival. Beer AND judging things?
I scampered up the AC Expressway with a friend of mine, a beer festival newbie, touting how much fun we were going to have. Oh, and reminding him that he’d need to find something to do with his time while I judged. I grabbed the tickets and was shuttled over to my station.
We were given SUPER strict rules. We couldn’t leave our station at all during the judging. We couldn’t wear lipstick (not so much a problem for me and my bearded cohorts, but good to know), we couldn’t know which beers we were tasting (only the styles), and we couldn’t have non-judges into the judging area.
Though they had us slated to do 5 categories, it was obvious after the first two we’d be cutting it close on timing, so we cut off after 3. Luckily for me, since I was not accustomed to having beers brought to ME during a festival, and 30 tiny tastings add up fast.
The categories I got to taste were American and Canadian Lagers, Amber Ales, and NJ brewed (my favorite, two coffee stouts, DELISH!)
After a bit of phone confusion, I found my buddy. Only something was missing….. I couldn’t put my finger on it at first. And then I looked down.
When I’d left him, he was wearing trousers. And somewhere in that hour and a half, he’d traded in for a utilikilt.
I have no understanding of men’s fashion, so I’m sure he knew what he was doing. I was ready, however, for some beers.
Like this one:
I’d been itching to check this beer in on Untappd since I’d heard it was coming out. And, while it wasn’t my favorite (never been too partial to blonde ales), it very much got my hyped up. And before you knew it, I was armed and ready for the rest of beer fest.
I’ll admit, I’d been a little spoiled by my last beer festival. You know, just a little something called the Great American Beer Festival. So when I got to Atlantic City’s Convention Center, I was overwhelmed. Maybe it was the prevalence of semi-nude promo girls (sorry, no pictures of them. Felt too creepy.). Maybe it was the smaller scale with a chaotic vibe. Maybe it was that there seemed to be no organization to the booths (GABF was organized by region. And it was AMAZING.) Luckily, there was one thing that was NOT lacking in AC.
AC’s Beer Festival was jam-packed with men rocking some incredible beards and even MORE fantastic mustaches. In fact, the Garden State Beard and Mustache Society seemed to be a major sponsor (I love that that’s a real society.) We had a blast. I enjoyed the HELL out of Dogfish Head’s Palo Santo Marron Randallized through coconut. Basically, falling in true love with the DFH pourers, generally speaking. And, after prancing about, listening to some weird music, drinking all the beers, and taking a cab back to Ocean City, it was quick to sleep. Luckily, I had quite the treat waiting in the morning….
I couldn’t think of a more perfect way to wake up than the dreamiest of all foods I know.
AC Beer Fest, you’re A-okay with me. I hope to see you next year.
Apparently, my little brothers’ fraternity is far more creative than the fraternities at UNC are (or were 4 years ago). Because, while UNC frats were throwing parties with REAL winning concepts such as:
- Golf Pros and Tennis Hoes
- GI Joes and Army Hoes
- CEOs and Office Hoes
- Dudes in a kinda themed shirt and street-walking prostitutes (ok, this wouldn’t fit on a flyer, but real talk, I think all of them were basically versions of this)
HIS fraternity is hosting parties with themes such as:
- Mobsters and Lobsters
- Mathletes and Athletes
I’ll admit, I’m a huge sucker for theme parties. Almost to a fault. And, in college, my frat did a few solid ones. Personal favorites:
- Word on Your Arm Party – Real simple concept. Come in with a word on your arm. If you don’t have one, we’re ready with permanent markers and incredible vocabularies. Don’t blame me if you forgot your word and end up with Pudendum on your forearm for the next three days.
- Swank and Skank – You choose: Britney Spears-style skanking, strolling through gas stations barefoot and maybe pregnant or bald OR swanky as all get out (any reason to rock a tiara and long black gloves)
- Paranormal Formal – I just wanted a chance to cover myself in blood a la Carrie. And if I was wearing a tiara…. so be it.
- Zombie Apocalypse in the 1920s – Ok, this one wasn’t my favorite, but I appreciate specificity. I dressed as a pirate, as I always will when I don’t agree with the theme.
But now, I’m worried that I missed a lot of opportunities for great rhyming themes (AND SLANT RHYMES! YEAH!!) I’ve decided that if I don’t host at least ONE of these parties in the next year or so, I’ve failed as a human. These are some ideas thus far. You know, just spit-balling over here….
- Winos and Albinos – I expect to see some famous winos like the Real Housewives of Anywhere and maybe one or two people dressed as polar bears. Bonus points if someone shows up dressed like this fellow:
- Jungle Cats and Spoiled Brats – Lions, Tigers, and Paris Hilton, OH MY!
- Jeffs, Chefs, and Stephs – Where else might you see Stephanie Meyer, Jeff Probst, and Iron Chef Mario Batali having small talk over jello shots? I also imagine that I’d look great in a Steffi Graf costume. So there’s that.
- Book Covers and Star Cross’d Lovers - I’m a huge fan of judging things by their covers. Mostly beers by their labels…. However, this party’s theme would be literal interpretations of book titles and pairs arriving as history’s greatest star cross’d lovebugs. Romeo and Juliet, Maria and Tony, Nick and Jessica (Simpson. Shame on you if that wasn’t the obvious first choice.)
- Silicon Valley and Diagon Alley – Computer geeks and Harry Potter freaks UNITE! Actual wizards and tech wizards, one and all. I am still unsure how I’d rock a tiara at this one, but I’m almost certain that someone would rock a badass Bellatrix. Maybe this person might even fall for the pocket-protected lad or lass standing by the punchbowl (note: I don’t have a punchbowl. Do I have to get one to throw these things?)
- Holy Powers and Whiskey Sours – Dress up as any deity you wish, know that I will only be pouring whiskey sours. Ganesh, don’t give me that, I know you’ll love them if you just give them a chance. Look at Artemis over there, throwing them back!
- Spice Girls and Zombie Merles – If you decide to dress as a male-identified character for this party, your options are pretty limited, and you’d better be all caught up on your Walking Dead. But how great would it be to see line dancing with Sporty, Scary, and like… 4 Zombie Merles.
Oh goodness. I gotta get started. Only a little less than 5 months until my birthday!!
Take your best shot at a solid AND creative theme party. OR give me the best one you’ve ever attended. What did you dress as?!
Probably a lobster.