I Prefer the Term “Vintage,” Thank You

Chickadees, 2014 is officially over, and while there is absolutely nothing lazier than a “Year in Review” post, well, here we are! While I’m seeing loads of less-than-lovely sentiments about 2014 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, I have to say that it was a year that challenged me not only to be a better person, but to be a better adult. 

(Which, let’s face it, I’m still only moderately proficient at.)

(Despite seven years of practice.)

(Shut up, I’m trying.)

As a child I assumed that when I reached adulthood, I would have grown-up thoughts.” – David Sedaris
I was nearly a Christmas baby; or, at the very least, a pre-Christmas baby, but thanks to some bad math, I arrived in the early days of 1989; therefore, 2014 was my 25th year, and if I were a car, I would officially be an antique. As it stood, 2014 was the year I began to set myself on the path to happy, healthy adulthood. And part of that was setting myself a bedtime. In college, I was famous for the two-hour cat nap – your Gal could stay up until 4AM, sleep (literally anywhere) until 6AM and then roll out of bed/chair/tuba cubby fresh and ready for class. This miraculous ability to function left me somewhere around the age of 23, but the 1AM-4AM bedtimes didn’t, and so over the years I steadily developed the morning personality of a crotchety old woman. It wasn’t until late in the year that I discovered the combination of six hours of sleep and a sensible breakfast/lunch make me a FAR more pleasant person throughout the day. In 2015? I hope to figure out how to make kale taste as good as huevos rancheros.

Your Gal, any time before 12pm in 2014.

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” – Anne Frank
You know what doesn’t feel great in the short run? Parting with your money and not receiving some sort of sparkly bauble within 3-5 business days (I’m looking at you, katespade.com). You know what feels great? Receiving adorable photos and pictures from a child you sponsor, or knowing that you have the ability to help give people in need access to much-needed livestock. While I’m trying to find places to volunteer in 2015, this past year was the one in which I started giving back as much as I can afford monetarily, and knowing that money is helping to improve someone’s life is worth far more than a bracelet or a bag.

Sharing is caring, y’all.

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo DaVinci
You know what’s great? Looking at your college diploma, being able to make decisions about your future and your career, carrying on an intelligent conversation and being proud of your accomplishments. You know what’s not? Feeling like you’ve become a complete and utter moron since graduating. This year I embarked upon a quest to re-smarten myself through the classic, which I’ve slightly modified to allow myself 50% “fun reading” (including the classics) and 50% “mind expansion reading,” which dictates that for every novel I buy, I’m also required to purchase and peruse something in the realm of science, history, politics or biography. Is it the same thing as grad school? No, but at least I’ll be able to talk about something aside from how my hair won’t hold a decent curl.

Of course, everything is a process. Sometimes I have a milkshake and french fries for dinner. Sometimes I read a trashy romance novel and spill nail polish on the coffee table. I’m still stuck on making pro/con lists rather than listening to my own intuition when it comes to major decisions (2014’s big career move, I’m looking at you). Oh, and rather than sticking to my “only buy what Stitch Fix” sends you rule, I’ve made a few (too many) trips to J. Crew.

I don’t pretend to be an expert on self-improvement, and if you really want to see how it’s done, you’ll refer to Jen Lancaster; in the meantime, I’m prepared to face 2015 a little older, a little wiser, and a little bit of a better me.

(And with my own insurance. Sigh.)

Love,
Your Gal

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In Which This Isn’t About Justin Timberlake

I am an old lady.

There, I said it. While I’ve been joking about it since I turned 21, the Internet proved to me last night that I am officially old (or maybe just out of the loop?)

To backtrack, while I try to stay well-informed about news and politics and world events – even though CNN is basically as good as an Ambien – I’m sorely lacking when it comes to the boy band resurgence. Don’t get me wrong, back in the late 90s/early 2000s, I could not only bust a move to N*SYNC, but I also wholeheartedly dedicated myself to learning all their lyrics. 

Didn’t we all?

(And, of course, like many a red-blooded lady, I am both in awe of and tremendously thankful for Justin Timberlake’s transformation from a ramen-noodle-haired lover of knit turtlenecks to a full-blown, dreamy, Ty Power-esque goofball.)

The boy bands of today? Well, I can’t replicate that love. And that’s not to denigrate them; it’s just to say I literally can no longer keep them straight. Whatever part of my gray matter that was once responsible for knowing exactly how many tips Lance Bass had frosted has long since deteriorated.

Case in point? My relationship (or lack thereof) with One Direction. The below Post-It, passed to a coworker, should neatly illustrate my my ignorance:

One Direction

Now, I understand 1D is a phenomenon. I understand they’re something I should know about if I’m to consider myself a pop culture aficionado. But there is something broken in my brain that causes me to point and say “Oh, they’re adorable. Who are they?” every time I see a photo of these lads on the Interwebs.

Of course, all of this is a very roundabout way of saying that, last night, I encountered this photo of Harry Styles at a wedding, and all I could do was clutch my pearls (metaphorically) and gasp, “Where is your tie, young man?!”

Which made me feel old. And out of touch. And surprisingly okay with that.

(Also, Harry – Jack White’s probably pretty upset you stole his look. Just saying.)

Love,

Your Gal