Your pants are on fire

I’ve been thinking a lot about lying lately.

Not like, I’m planning to start lying. Like the concept of lying. “Lying.”

Earlier this month, I met a man at a barbecue who had very strong feelings about lying. In a rather inebriated speech, he explained to me and my boyfriend (among other things) how the key to any successful relationship — or life, for that matter — is honesty.

In his intoxication, he pronounced it “hahn-ness-ay,” but I don’t think that necessarily undercuts the message.

But I think even more than just not lying, honesty is about being honest at times when it’s difficult. When you know someone is going to be mad, maybe even not forgive you for what you’re about to say. Honesty requires a selflessness that a lot of people aren’t often willing to display.

Of course, I’m not saying being honest requires blurting out every thought that pops into your head; if you don’t have anything nice to say…you get the idea.

But you’re never going to be able to have any kind of relationship — be it romantic, platonic, familial, whatever — if you’re hiding things. You can fake it for a while, probably, but sooner or later you can’t keep up the act.

I think lying about something is almost worse than whatever it is you feel necessary to hide. But that’s just my opinion.

Into the Wild…ish

I’m turning 22 on Friday.

Yikesabee, that sounds old, doesn’t it? Like, people are doing adult things at the age of 22. Or at least they’re finally at an age where they can do adult things (marriage, children, retirement funds) without everyone in the universe telling them they’re throwing away their youth.

Ok, that’s a lie. I’d still be a little freaked. But just a little

So how am I ringing in what is essentially my mid-20s? Ladies and gentlemen, I will be camping. For the first. Time. Ever.

Anyone that I tell I’ve never been camping tends to give me this wide-eyed look like I just said I’ve never eaten cereal. Then they usually follow up the look with some incredulous comment like, “YOU’VENEVERBEENCAMPINGOHMYGODWHATWASWRONGWITHYOURUPBRINGING?!?!?!?!”

Answer: Nothing. I was just raised by people who happen to appreciate plumbing. And air conditioning. And being able to escape from carnivorous insects.


But that is neither here nor there. The point is, I’m going with my boyfriend and his family and some other families. Camping. In the wild. And while I know it will be fine (it’s not like this is Justine VS. Wild or anything…right?), I can’t help but feel gravely unprepared.

I feel this way based on conversations like the following that occured via text this afternoon:

Joe: Do you have a sleeping bag?

Me: Um…no. Does that mean I’m kicked out?

Joe: Ha no, I think we have extra. You have sandals or flops to wear in the shower?

Me: Yes, those I have.

Joe:Ok. Flash light if you have one too.

Me: …er…

Joe: Ha it’s fine, I have a mini for ya

Me: Sorry for my lack of preparedness. This is what happens when you’re not raised by “camping people”

Because that’s what my dad said to me the one time I asked him why we never went camping: “We’re not really camping people.”

I imagine camping people as folks clad in animal skins and hemp, living in tents they’ve built from sticks, and purifying their own urine for drinking water.

My parents? Yeah, not so much.

So keep me in mind this weekend as I’m roughing it. Let’s just hope that it’s not too rough.

War of the Worlds

So the lovely other ladies of apartment 3 and I held a classy little soirée last night. We invited about 20 people, all from varying aspects of our lives.


The resulting hodge-podge of friends, co-workers, and significant others got Emma and I talking about what happens when you mix your “worlds.” And more specifically, how nervous it makes us.


For example, say you have a friend who makes questionable jokes. Sure, you know that they’re joking. You know this because you have spent a significant amount of time with this person, learning to understand and differentiate the times when they’re joking and when they’re not. People from other worlds, however, have not put in the time and effort you have.

This can result in what we lovingly call a “clash of the worlds,” or COTW.

Life lesson #126: Blending your worlds comes with certain risks.

Our fear of COTWs makes shindigs — like our cocktail party — especially precarious. You find yourself hovering around conversations with people you’ve invited, poised to leap to the rescue of a questionable joke or anecdote.

Of course, the COTW is rarely as bad as you’re worried it will be. People find something the have in common, they bond, and the conversation goes on. There may be brief kerfuffles, but in general, the party goes on.

And on the off chance one of your friends does embarrass you, you just have to trust that you’ll be able to laugh about it later.

That or keep them safely and securely in their own world.

Caffeine goeth before a fall

Today was not my best.

Things started out OK: got up on time, was ready early, and Emma and I decided to indulge in Free Mocha Monday at McDonalds. (It’s a 6-oz drink. FOR. FREE.)

Things were going great until we had to go down to the subway. Then I stepped on an uneven part of ground and fell. Onto the ground. I’m fine, don’t worry. Besides a microscopic scrape on my knee, I’ll live to enjoy a fully functional life.

In fact, except for a bruised ego, the fall would have gone virtually undocumented except that the free mocha I had previously been excited about spilled. Onto my shirt. Officially making me that sloppy girl who has a brown stain on her shirt in the office. AKA, not the girl you want to hire. Which, incidentally, is something I would like to happen.

I went through most of the morning by trying to cover the stain with my sweater, but by noon, enough was enough. So, after a quick trip to Uniqulo for a remarkably cheap tank top, I was back in business.

Yeah, OK, that was a terrible story. But I feel bad for not posting much lately. I promise something better (WITH PHOTOS!) later tonight about our cocktail party last night. Try not to wet yourself with excitement, k?

A Boast Wonderful Night

So, I don’t want to brag (much), but I got into another show for free.

And this one was Phantom of the Opera. And it was awesome. And the Phantom was so good I almost cried.

But I don’t want to brag.

This wasn’t just luck, though. My friend Kevin works at a youth leadership group that teaches kids about the business of theater, so he gets to go to shows for discounted prices/free fairly regularly. He invited me to go, originally thinking I’d have to pay $34. This is still a good price, so I agreed. I even coerced the boyfriend to attend with me, despite verrrrry recent dental surgery. (He may still have been bleeding when he got to the theater…what a trooper!)

Fast forward to show time, when Kevin informs me that the tickets are, in fact, free of charge. Cue me being thrilled.

And scene.

So basically, greatest night. Ever. And I learned something:

Life lesson #123: Getting into Phantom of the Opera for free is better than getting in not for free.

Ok, done not bragging.

Why I’m not a whiz kid

Let’s get one thing straight: I am not a Harry Potter fan.

Do I hate that little bespectacled wizard? No, of course not. But I’ve just never gotten into the books, never lusted after the next feature film, and never stayed up nights wondering just whether or not I could trust Severus Snape.

And yet, somehow virtually all of my closest friends are some of the biggest HP fiends you will ever meet. And not only are they baffled and disappointed by my inability to share in their fervor for debating the pros and cons Harry’s angst, some of them are downright annoyed.

Because, you see, I was born on July 31st. So was J.K. Rowling. So was Harry Potter.

Apparently this is the type of thing people envy. They think it’s the type of thing that was “wasted” on me. They think it’s something I “don’t deserve.”


This is especially true of my friend Erin, who recently (OK, last night) convinced me to attend the midnight showing of the sixth movie. Or, more accurately, the 12:40 A.M. showing. As in almost one in the morning. For an almost three-hour movie. On a Tuesday.

This is a photo of my feelings whilst at the show:


Just to clear up any confusion, THAT’S where life lesson #112 came from. *meaningful stare at Emma’s slanderous statements*

So I went. Because heck, it’s good to be a part of something bigger than yourself every now any then, right? The movie was decent, but not worth the sacrificed sleep, in my opinion. (Although, as I’ve explained, my scale is a little biased.)

The point is, now it’s the day after. And all I’ve learned is:

Life lesson #121: Two giant cups of coffee are not enough to combat Harry Potter-induced exhaustion.

And right now, I sort of do hate Harry Potter.

Excuses, excuses

Lately I’ve been having a harder time coming up with topics to blog about.

You’re probably thinking it’s because I’m boring. Or at least my life is boring. I’m not. (Much.) And lately, it’s not. (Very.)

I think it’s just that sometimes I get a little hung up on the arrogance of having a blog. Like there’s this crowd of readers just clamoring to know what is going on in my life/head/apartment. (Hi, mom and dad.)

Which is why I was so vehemently against the idea to years. “A BLOG?!” I would scoff. “WHY does every moderately literate person think they need to have a BLOG?? Who CARES???”

But then enough professors started advocating the idea and enough jobs I was applying for started asking for link to blogs that I decided to just get off my high horse and get on the computer. And blog. (Sidenote: It sound like a word for barf, doesn’t it? Whooooaa…Tina just TOTALLY blogged all over EVERYTHING!)

Then I started rationalizing my decision to try and make it clear I did not think I needed a blog:

“It helps keep my friends back in Iowa clued in on what I’m doing.”

“It keeps my mom from having to call me every hour to know what I’m doing.

“It’s a great way to make sure I write a little bit every day!”

I know what you’re thinking: “Justine. But aren’t all those just gussied up excuses? (And what is with all your parentheticals todays??)”

Maybe. But a girl’s gotta do something. My life’s kind of boring, remember?