The People You See at the Town Fair

The weather is getting warmer, pants are being traded in for butt-showing shorts (seriously, what is this new style?), and the sun is tanning your bare backs…unless you live in Pennsylvania, the new Seattle.

And with this change of the season, it is inevitable that the carnival roll on into whatever town you live. Every town has to have an annual carnival right? Or at least somewhere within driving distance…?

Now, this town fair was fun growing up. There were the scary rides that could literally fall apart in any second, the sticky cotton candy your parents hated buying you, and the giant, really-awkwardly-hard, overstuffed animals your daddy or middle school boyfriend would win you after spending $10-100 trying to knock down a glued bottle of pop.

But, as you got older you realized how trashy, or, err, interesting this town fair really was. You noticed the wide variety of people it brought to its grounds, including, but not limited to:

1. The young family. This is normal. This is who probably should be at these sort of fairs. Kids love this stuff…(until that pet goldfish they won dies the next day). However, because of the following people, this is why the young family seems to stick out.

2. The middle school couples. CLEARLY their parents do not know either a) where they are or b) that they are with the opposite sex. In fact, you can sense by their constant holding each other and making out on the bench, ferris wheel, spinny ride, while trying to win a hard-overstuffed plush, waiting in line, and basically anywhere on the fairgrounds, that their parents are ignorant of this couple’s ‘relationship’. This is the only place that they are freely able to touch each other somewhat inappropriately, and they take full advantage of such. (You can also catch them at the mall on Friday nights.)

3. The group of young skater boys. I don’t know if they are trying to live out a Tony Hawk game or what, but there is ALWAYS a group of young skater boys in tight jeans, band t-shirts, and long hair that hover around the dark corners of the fairgrounds grinding on whatever piece of carnival equipment their board can handle.

4. Carnies. Well, duh there’s going to be carnies there. And to be honest- being a carnie sounds really freaking appealing to me right now. Traveling the world, meeting and harassing new people every week, being carefree or whatever. But I’d like to keep my teeth…and dignity.

5. The guy who thinks he’s tough. You know who- this guy dons a beater and storms around with an angry mug…usually alone. As you try your best to get out of his way, you can’t help but wonder why he found himself at the fair tonight.

6. People you graduated high school with. There’s two groups for this. The first group came to the fair for the same reason you did- to know where you never want to end up in life. The second group think the fair is the best place in the world. It’s best to avoid both of these groups. After all, it’s people you graduated high school with and didn’t keep in touch with for a reason.

7. The teen mom. I’m not talking about the teen mother who is taking her child to the fair for the child’s sake, such as the Young Couple. I’m talking about the teen mom who rolls up for the reason of being seen in skin tight, barely fitting clothing to show the world how ‘goooood she looookk’ post-baby. This teen mom will probably also try to start drama with the baby daddy (possibly one in the same as The Guy Who Thinks He’s Tough) while at the fair.

8. Overly dressed-up girls. You want to wear a cute sundress to the fair? That’s fine. But when you show up in a red miniskirt, a see-through top with your tatas out, a pound of make up, straightened hair, and 5 inch heels, I can’t help but to shake my head. Girlfriend, you’re going to a fair, not to the club. Throw on some basketball shorts and a t shirt, and get ready to be thrown upside down on the Freak-Out ride.

and last but not least…

9. The intoxicated. You know you’re cool when you get drunk to go to the fair………

And every year you say you won’t go back, yet every year you end up back on those old familiar, dirty fairgrounds.

Life at a Standstill

I’m at a standstill already.

I go to work at my part-time retail job. I come home. I sleep. I rinse and repeat.

My days off are spent comfortably on my couch staring at my computer screen.

Searching through countless job listings, rewriting my cover letter, giving up and staring at Reddit for the remainder of the day.

In fact, I stopped looking entirely.

It’s all about who you know in this world, and unfortunately, I don’t know anyone with these connections.

On occasion I see a friend and have a fun few hours.

But.

I don’t see a way out. August will come, and I won’t be packing my bags to join my friends at the little bubble we call college.

It feels like a summer vacation, wasting away my days in the air conditioning.

Yet, that’s the problem.

I’m wasting away my days.

I’m fine with my part-time retail job for this summer. It is allowing me to enjoy my last ‘free’ summer.

Well it should be, if I would take advantage of it.

But

This begs the question:

How long after graduation am I still considered just a ‘recent grad’ as opposed to a ‘failure’ for being career-less?

How much longer do I have to find a job before I’m looked down upon for having a degree, living at home, and only working a part-time retail job?

How much longer until I can escape this pause, and press the play button to resume my life?

I don’t want to sell out.

I just want to find a career, and  be happy with the one I find.

The Undercover Badboy

In a recent discussion with my two roommates, Mom & Dad, I realized how personality-shallow I am when it comes to boys.

For example, I am attracted to intelligence. You use the wrong your/you’re in a text and I’ll probably politely file you into my imaginary friendzone folder, if you’re lucky.

Ambition turns me on like no other. Oh, you have dreams and goals? You don’t know exactly what you want or where you’re going but you know you want something more and you’re determined to get there? Tell me more while I schedule our wedding into my planner.

Don’t even get me started on politeness. You have manners, and you use them? Not only can you win my parents’ respect and admiration, but you are also nice to the random cashier or waiter or old man on the street? Get me a fan, I’m sweating over here, because that is hot.

 

And there is just something to say about a good sense of wit/humor. You crack out a corny joke and I’ll probably laugh. You keep up with my humor, poke a little fun, and feed off of sarcasm, and I will most definitely come tripping over my own feet into your arms.

However, these aren’t the only keys to my heart. Because, every girl loves a badboy as I am coming to learn. Yet this is a very specific type of badboy.

I’m not talking about does hardcore drugs, curses like a sailor in front of your grandma, drives 90 in a 40, has no job, gets around badboy.

I’m talking the undercover badboy.

The undercover badboy knows when to be polite and when to let out his inner badness. In fact, you might not even realize he’s a badboy until you are starting to get bored of his supreme kindness and then BOOM he whips it out.

The undercover badboy will have a job, goals, and respect, but he will also secretly live life on the edge.

His inner badboy will only start to manifest itself slightly into conversation. You almost have to figure it out for yourself that he is not some every day nerd. They’re so subtle, his BAMF qualities.

The undercover badboy will play with your nephew, have a conversation with your mom, hang out with your straightedge friends, and then only when you’re alone or with other BAMFs, will he let his true badness shine through.

This is what differentiates the badboy from the undercover badboy. He is not trying to display to the world that he is a BAMF, such as the regular badboy, but he keeps it hidden and only displays his badness when appropriate.  It is a thin line between the two, but one of which makes all the difference.

And that, my friends, is why I am personality-shallow.

What Job Searching is Actually Like

Step 1. Make resume.

Skills? Uh…I sort of knew HTML back in middle school when I had a MySpace… I’ll put that on there, make myself really stand out. Any employer would feel lucky to hire me!

Oh..But what if they actually want me to use HTML at my job? All I remember is how to bold the B in BaBiiGuRl…

What you’re left with:

“Skills: Microsoft Word.”

Step 2. Reading through job descriptions

They want 3-5 years minimum marketing experience? I worked at a Hallmark store during my winter break one year. I had to market like, cards and stuff….I got this!

‘Looking for a finance/business recent graduate’….Hmm…I was a Communications major but I have a bank account…Sounds good.

‘High school degree or GED equivalent required, college degree unnecessary’… So glad I went thousands of dollars into debt…PICK ME

 

Step 3. Finding your objective

Objective…objective…

Objective: To be employed.

…is that good enough?

Or should I put: “Objective: I have no specific objective because I don’t actually know what your business is about nor if I am qualified for the position. In fact, I don’t actually even want this job at all but I figured I’d give it a shot.  Pick me”

Step 4: Writing the cover letter

“Dear business,

I have a great personality. And I want to move out of my parent’s house sooner rather than later.

Pick me,

Your’s truly”

Step 5:  Sending in the resume, cover letter, and application.

*Click*

That e-mail confirmation came rather quickly…Alright. Now I just have to wait for the interview. I got this!

How exhilarating.

Look at me go, taking the initiative, applying to real-person jobs! I love the real world.

Step 6: Waiting.

Monday…Tuesday..Wednesday….two weeks later…

Step 7: Trying to find the phone number and/or contact person and/or e-mail address in order to follow up and find out when interviews are being conducted 

Where do they hide this information? I feel like I’m searching through a Where’s Waldo book.

Step 8: Realizing you didn’t get accepted or rejected. You just got ignored. 

I hate the real world.

The Annoying Co-Worker

When working in retail, we all have had to deal with that one annoying co-worker. You know who I’m talking about. As soon as you read the word ‘annoying’, their face came to mind. Your annoying co-worker will exhibit most, if not all, of the following behaviors:

  • He/she will act super busy and important whenever your supervisor is around, but as soon as it is just you and them, the true laziness begins to show. You: “Hey, I’m really busy trying to ring up, wrap, and bag this customer’s items,  can you take the next one?” Annoying co-worker: “OHHH nooo, nooo, nooo. I don’t want to make them walk a whole foot over to my register! You can take them when you’re finished.”
  • He/she will have some sort of terrible body odor and/or a flatulence problem.  If they don’t have either of these, then they will definitely eat only onion sandwiches on their breaks and come back reeking.
  • He/she will tell you the same stories about their trip to London or Fiji or Sesame Place over and over and over again. Even when you stop responding, he/she will steep keep blabbering. They are like the energizer bunny. Except a lot less cute, and a lot less well-liked.
  • He/she will stand behind you watching as you count your change, help a customer, vacuum the store, eat, breathe, and possibly even sleep.  Every time you turn around, there he/she is…just hovering…watching your every move. Even after you’ve told them plenty of times that their mere existence makes you uncomfortable, there they still remain.
  • He/she will laugh at their own jokes, none of which are actually funny. Sometimes you will laugh along at the sheer pitifulness of the joke. Also, he/she will have a very disturbing, dry-sounding, been-smoking-for-50-years laugh.
  • He/she will be condescending, especially if he/she had, in fact, been working there longer than you. He/she will pretend you don’t know how to do your job even after he/she made you take care of all of the customers as he/she just stood there hovering.
  • He/she will be exceedingly slow, probably on purpose, in order to transfer the entire line to your register’s side.
  • Whenever a customer asks a question, he/she will stand there silently staring blankly into the customer’s eyes until you come up to assist, even though he/she clearly knows the answer.
  • He/she will spend the entire shift either drawing weird anime onto receipt paper, or making personal telephone calls on the company’s phone. Whenever you pass by, you hear them throw in the company’s name in the conversation to make it act like it’s a business call, but you know it’s not. Not unless the business is wondering what time he/she will be home for dinner.

 

If no one came to mind as you were reading these, maybe you should take a hard look at yourself…

You may just be the annoying co-worker.

 

People Watching in Atlantic City

This past weekend I trekked on down to the wonderful party city of Atlantic to see  Kaskade at the new HQ Beachclub at Revel (I’d highly recommend this Vegas-style club).

While I don’t gamble (ain’t no body got monies fo’ dat), I had a fabulous time exploring the beach, casinos, bars, and nightlife along the boardwalk, and of course meeting new people… aka people-watching the AC visitors.

Here is a list of the types of people I hope you are fortunate enough to meet, run into, have a conversation with, or simply watch while in Atlantic City.

1. The stoned older couple on the beach. I’m not speaking like, OLD-old, but  they were old enough. This couple will be super friendly, ask where you are from, tell you about themselves, and throw in a few recent stories of partying.

They might compliment your home city, “You girls from Philly? I can tell by your personalities. Women tend to be more alpha in Philly. We love Philly.”  Thanks sir!

Or even give you some pointers on where to spend your evening.

And then the stories about cannabis will erupt without warning. “Yeah man, this guy came up and was like yo… is that weed? And I was like shut up man, take a hit, but shut up.”

Oh.

And then the police will drive by along the beach on their little 4-wheeler thing and for a split second you will pretend to not be associated with them in any way. “Ah man, that was close. I have an open beer and a joint in my hand”…he says….

Oh.

Needless to say, these people will be entertaining to talk to and you will probably thoroughly enjoy learning about their lives.

He will probably travel a lot, specifically to Miami, but his girlfriend-wife-lady-friend has to stay home because she works a ‘real job’…

uh, what do you do sir?

Don’t ask questions. 

So, if you ever have the chance to spark up a conversation with a baked couple in their, say, early 40s on the beach- DO IT. It will at least keep you entertained and keep your mind off of the chilling sea-breeze for a few minutes. You might even get invited to meet them by the slot machines later. Too bad you don’t gamble.

2. Older foreigners. These foreigners will be wearing full garb, including long jeans, argyle sweaters, suit jackets, boots, hats, etc…in June….

They will have various different cameras and each stand independently in front of the ocean, one-by-one, in order to have a photograph taken of them.

Although there will be about 7 or 8 of them, they will not take any group photos. They will all stare at the model and smile from behind as one of them takes the photograph, and then they will switch positions.

Although you will probably not interact with this group at all, this is a prime opportunity to people-watch from the comfort of your own tanning location as you take selfies with your group. (…We all have our different photographing preferences)

3. Grampa. Grampa looks innocent enough. But then you realize it’s 11 p.m. at a beach bar on the boardwalk and he is sitting alone, smiling, sipping some drink with a paper umbrella in it. The DJ is playing some crappy LMFAO song and Grampa starts bobbing his head along. Whatever, he’s Grampa, what’s he gonna do?

You and your friends head to the dance floor whenever the terrible LMFAO song is done being played and you begin to go crazy, dancing, singing along, jumping about. You look over and Grampa has moved. He is now at the closest table to the dance floor, still smiling, nodding his head along with the music, and sipping his drink. But this time his innocence has turned into a sly smirk. He is glaring into your soul, or perhaps at your chest, you’re not really sure.

You ignore it and continue dancing, but every time you glance over, there he is…staring…watching your every move…

You are not sure whether you should think “Aww cute little Grampa over there, just trying to have a good time”, or “WHAT THE HECK, MAN? YOU’RE CREEPING ME OUT. GO PLAY BINGO!”

Eventually you realize you should feel creeped out and leave Grampa to creep on the other twenty-somethings in the crowd.

Oh wait, there weren’t any…

This should have been your sign in the first place.

4. The Bachelor Party. It’s Atlantic City- You are BOUND to come across at least ONE bachelor party during your stay. If you’re a girl- hang out with them. There has to be at least a few single guys in the group who are wiling to buy you some cheap beers. And, well, even the taken guys will probably be buying you drinks. I mean- their women aren’t with them.

**This is really the only advantage of hanging out with a bachelor party. I mean, they have their plans already. You just happen to be there as they are crossing one of the many bars they plan to attend off of their list. And well, right time and right place = free rounds on them!

5. Little guy. Okay, this is not to bash short guys. If you are a short guy and like taller girls- kudos! No discrimination. I like it. But Little Guy will indeed be at least a head shorter than you, and super unsettling to be around. You will come across Little Guy at one of the more popular clubs or bars, usually on the dance floor. He is the fist-pumping type…

Little guy will reach up with all of his might and tap you on the shoulder.

He’s kind of cute so you think “Alright, cool. New friend!”

And then he approaches your ear extremely closely, you can literally feel his lips on your lobes, and comes out with this line: “Hey sexy. I like your outfit.”

Like, no you don’t.

What he likes is that you are in your bathing suit in general. I mean, it is a beachclub. You smile, politely thank him, and turn back towards the DJ. And then you feel another tap from Little guy.

Ugh now what?

“Do you want a drink?”

Without even thinking you decline. And then you immediately wonder if you made a mistake. Should you have taken that free $15 drink? But then he gives you a glare and storms off, which makes you stand firm in your decision.

Clearly he was just trying to buy his way to rub onto your booty. (*See Dear Guys: What Not To Do At A Club

Also, the bar was like, way far away from the dance floor..who knows what he could have slipped into that drink by the time he got it to you?

Maybe if he hadn’t used that creepy pick-up-line-maneuver and practically bit your ear off he would have had a better shot to spend his money on you.

6. Actual new friends. Every time you go to Atlantic City, you should make an effort to leave with new friends. This will make up for all of the odd encounters you have had the rest of the weekend.

You will run into them serendipitously and instantly have a connection. It can be a group or a few individuals, but you will spend time chatting, laughing, dancing- whatever you please. They will ward off the creepers such as Grampa and Little Guy, and you will feel safe and carefree surrounded by your new friends.

When you are forced to separate, you will have a deep feeling of sadness wash over you. You can’t be done with your new friends already! So you will exchange numbers and hope to meet up again one day.

Are Student Loans Stunting Our Maturity?

As I sit here on my parent’s couch over Easter break listening to Steve Angello’s Essential Mix at 9:30 p.m. on a Friday night… I begin to foresee my future.

**Fast forward 6 months. Diane is sitting on her parent’s couch on a Friday night eating a box of Cheez-itz alone with her dog, watching Forgetting Sarah Marshall or some other movie she has already seen 7 times previously.**

Let me start this off by saying I am both optimistic and greatly excited for my “future” in the “real world”; however, I can’t help but notice all of these drawbacks that may trip me as I attempt to leap into adulthood, forcing me to fall flat on my face. And so, it becomes easier to sit on the sidelines under the protection of adolescence than to take the step forward. However, I would argue that it is not only easier, it is almost becoming necessary for young adults to remain “stuck” as children for a longer period of time. And for that, I blame the expenses of college.

To elaborate, why do I foresee my future as spending countless Friday nights sitting on my parent’s couch? Because I don’t see myself being able to financially afford moving out of my parent’s house for <undocumented period of time>. And when I am home, I am boring. Suburbia isn’t exactly the party-scene of America…

Why won’t I move into a city? Oh, I’d love to! However the expenses of city-living and my student loans loathe each other, and I feel as though there would be a lot of tension in the apartment if all three of us attempted to live together. And since I’ve been with my student loans longer, I chose them as my premier roommate.

It’s a vicious cycle.

Student loans= living at home=not living in city= boring social life. 

And so I will remain stuck (luckily stuck, but stuck nonetheless) in my parent’s house, with a refrigerator full with food, Mom’s home-cooked dinners, and free Wi-Fi/cable (‘free’ meaning I personally don’t have to pay for it…)

These are all basic necessities as well as luxuries that I am SO thankful for- Thank GOD I have parents that will let their liberal-arts-degreed daughter mooch off of their Wi-Fi and Cheez-its until she gets a decent job and can start to afford both student loans and a crappy studio apartment with 6 other roommates in some unappealing area of some city some where.

However, as more and more college graduates are forced to move back home due to this vicious cycle of post-college-poorness, are their maturity levels being stunted?

I feel as though having this luxury of ‘home’ will only start to inhibit my attempts to ‘grow up’. I won’t have to budget myself or even my time for food and other basic amenities. College has spent its last four years attempting to teach me how to survive on my own, yanno with a meal plan but it still tried- yet will all that go to waste the more time I spend at home post-grad? Will I start to regress to my high school dependancies?

It is difficult to learn how to grow up until you fully submerge yourself into the life of an adult, and living at home prevents you from doing so.

When looking at past generations, they were moving out, getting married, having children well before or around my age of 22. WHAT. I cannot even imagine that lifestyle. Sure, our generation seems to focus more on careers and so that could be why all of this marriage-nonsense is getting pushed back for us, but could it also be because we simply cannot afford it? That education costs so much that we spend a good amount of our early twenties just coping with the idea of how to pay for food/housing/bills/etc on top of our loans?

I am so grateful that I have a place to live after graduation come May, but my only concern is that the more time I spend at home, the less I will grow up, that the financial burden of student loans forcing me to stay home will stunt my urge to mature into a fully functioning adult. That it will be too easy to be my parent’s little girl using their Wi-Fi and eating their entire boxes of Cheez-its in one sitting…

As much as I love calling my parent’s house my home, as much as I love coming home on the holidays, and as much as I am not ready to leave it quite yet- I hope one day soon I am ready to, mentally, emotionally, and financially.

To summarize, I want this home to be a place I *can* come back to, not one I *have* to because of the pressures of student loans.