mixtape monday: OH, BOY.

This playlist starts at 13 sitting outside the Five & Dime with your best girlfriends sipping lemonade and taking a Tiger Beat crush quiz. Then it transitions to getting ready for your first high school dance, curling each other’s hair and looking around bashfully, everyone silently wondering the same thing: will he or won’t he? Now you’re sixteen with the windows down on a hot summer night honking your horn and pressing paper notes against the back windshield. Before you know it you’re 19, a little bit disillusioned and a lot jaded and you’re only interested in boys that’ll make your momma mad. In short, this is a playlist about girls chasing after boys. I started (from the bottom) putting this playlist in chronological order…but then the pizza boy rang the doorbell and he was totally cute and I suddenly forgot what I was doing. Wink.

OH, BOY.

1. Lookin’ for Boys: The Pinups

2. He Was Really Sayin’ Something: The Velvelettes

3. Please Be My Baby: The Shirelles

4. She Don’t Deserve You: Honey & The Bees

5. I’m Gonna Destroy That Boy: What Four

6. Be My Baby: The Ronettes

7. Then He Kissed Me: Brenda Edwards

8. Love Is Like A Heatwave: Martha & The Vandellas

9. Baby Love: The Supremes

10. Playboy: The Marvelettes

11. Lollipop: The Chordettes

12. My Guy: Mary Wells

13. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?: The Shirelles

14. Leader of the Pack: The Shangri-Las

15. My Boyfriend’s Back: The Angels

16. You Can’t Hurry Love: The Supremes

17. Hot Child in the City: Joan Jett

18. This Magic Moment: Diana Ross

19. I Think We’re Alone Now: Tiffany

20. Whatta Man: Salt-N-Peppa

21. Doo Wop: Lauryn Hill

22. He Loves You Not: DREAM

23. Boys [Feat.  N.E.R.D]: Britney Spears

24. Lady Marmalade: Lil’ Kim, PINK, Mya, Xtina

25. Milkshake: Kelis

26. Long Hot Summer: Girls Aloud

27. Hopelessly Devoted to You: Girls Aloud

28. He Makes Me So Mad: Hollywood Jills

29. Show Stopper: Danity Kane

30. You’ve Got the Love: Florence & The Machine

Back in Black (and White.)

Anxiety creeps up behind me and wraps his hands around my throat as I sit in a pile of crumpled sheets. He whispers good morning, and I close my eyes and smile wantonly, basking in the thrill of unfamiliarity. He kisses me tenderly on the shoulder; my breath quickens to the pace of the cursor blinking on the blank page, and we make small talk about big things.

Just what do you think you’re doing?

I’m leaving, A, (I blush at using his pet name out loud for the first time. We’ve been friends for years, but only formally.) my friends are waiting.

You can’t leave now. I have a present for you. He dangles a balled fist in front of my face and asks me playfully what I’ve done to earn it.

Nothing, I mumble, staring at his lips and swatting felinely at his raised hand.

Thatta’ girl, and he lurches his fist forward and jams it into the socket of my eye.

I thank him politely and grab hold of the bottom left bedpost, sliding myself to the edge where my remaining leather sandal lays unlaced. As I bend down to slip it onto my foot, A leaps off the bed and offers me his knee. I wrap my hands in a sling around the back of my thigh and place the sole of my shoe on his kneecap, jutting out my chest and straightening my spine in an effort to counteract how self conscious I feel about whether or not he thinks my leg is too heavy to be feminine. He leans forward and draws his lips to the soft, exposed flesh on the inside of my foot and says knowingly, Yes.

What?

Yes.

Yes what?

Yes, you are too heavy to be feminine.

Oh (God).

He slips the leather strap of my sandal through the buckle and jerks it tightly, creating a white ring around my ankle and securing the loop. I leap up before he does and beeline for the door, ignoring the chafing and purple swell coming from below.

Em, he sighs, and for a moment I pause to consider whether he’s gotten my name wrong.

M, he says again, taking my hand off the doorknob by my wrist. Stop with the games, would ya? You and I both know you love me and you’re not going anywhere.

*     *     *

What better way to reward you for sticking with me through my two-month-to-the-day hiatus than with a one part romance novella, one part LiveJournal entry dramatization of the anxiety I’ve been feeling over having to write again after a two-month-to-the-day hiatus! Because I love you, I’ve added in a few bonuses including but not limited to a Gossip Girl reference, (apparently) some latent abandonment issues I had no idea I have, and if you call now you’ll get a FREE! As Seen on LifetimeTV sprinkling of low self esteem and abusive relationships. In all seriousness, I’ve been thinking for days of clever quips and comebacks for my comeback, but this feels cheesy honest and I think that’s the best place to start. Thanks for waiting for me guys, and I (think) I’m happy to be back and taking this blog in a newish, exciting-ish, and much more honest direction. Cheers!

Lights Camera Action.

I was sure that, out of everyone in my family, it was me who was going to end up rich and famous. Today however I stand humbly corrected, as I just received news (on Mother’s Day, of all days!) that my mom Bonnie is SUCH a rockstar that they’re making a full length feature film about her. I mean. Really, Mom, I’m totally happy for and not at all jealous of you :). Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, and all the women who have been strong role models for me and who had a hand in shaping smacking me into being the questionable person I am today. I love you.

Click Here for the trailer.

Tuesday Treats.

Hi friends :). Things got ‘a little serious up in this bitch’ here on Monday, but that’s not what Casa de Meghan is all about SO I’m happy to report that tonight it’s back to your regularly scheduled programming. Sort of. Wednesdays are supposed to be ’10 Totally Impractical Things I Want’ days, but I’ve been too sad about my nonexistent cash flow lately to torture myself with window shopping. I may not have money to shop, but I’ll never not have money to eat (can I get an Amen?) so instead I’m going to make up for a missed yesterday by sharing with you this list of the gods I stumbled upon recently (courtesy of Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere), along with my first attempt at conquering the list.

With summer rapidly approaching and all my big talk about trying to be healthier, I literally cried tears of joy at the discovery of this (way old but new to me) list of 101 simple salads for the season. Not only do they look beautiful and sound delicious, but a man who caters to the ‘can’t cooks’ of the world is after my own heart. Easy, breazy, and full of beautiful ingredients I’ve never heard of before. What’s not to love? Mark my words, I’m making them all.

Starting, of course, with number 78: The “What happens when your Chicago hot dog falls apart.” Perhaps an obvious choice given my most recent zipcode, I picked this salad to try tonight because a.) I’m always down for a gimmick b.) I  love the idea of deconstructed meals c.) I currently have all the required ingredients in my possession and d.) it seems like the least fancy, least intimidating place to start.

And non-intimidating and fabulous it was! Lettuce, tomato, chopped pickles, croutons, sport peppers, and chopped bits of hot dog tossed in a mustard vinaigrette. Some might call it good. Some might call it great. Some might even call it daaaaaaaaaaaaaaa best.

(My first Midwestern play on words? Gross.)

BONUS JONAS: I’m not the only one being totally freakin’ adorable in my quest for good health. I’m sure you’ve seen, but incase you have a life and can’t troll the internet all day for the latest memes, here’s a squeal worthy video of  Michelle Obama gettin’ down with her bad self. She dougies, she does the running man, she jump ropes, she loves Beyonce, and her arms could kill a man. Basically she’s the perfect candidate to be my First Lady of Best Friendship.

real talk.

This weekend was enlightening. Around the world and here at home I saw beginnings and endings, life and death, relationships being built up and torn apart, people smiling in the face of adversity and people crying. It’s not often that I stand up to discuss my political alignments or personal opinions on things that I consider to be much greater than myself. Not because I don’t care, and not because I’m uneducated, but because I have come to realize that I am not a person of, for, or by the people. As much as I’d like to think I capture everyone’s full attention at all times and have a powerful audience that can heed my words and make things happen as I envision them, that is not the case. I am just a confused girl with a blog and ten readers. But today I’m feeling super introspective, as I often get any time a big change enters my life, and I hope you’ll pay me no mind as I try to work something out for myself on this public forum.

Last week I answered an anonymous Formspring note that read something along the lines of “you’re just another person who has no idea about the true complexities of the world; I hope you enjoy your ignorance.” And in typical fashion for anyone who comes at me with criticism or an unfavoring opinion, I snapped back with something rude and sarcastic and didn’t give the comment a second thought. But in the wake of all the news worthy current events that have happened this weekend, across the globe and here at home, I couldn’t help but bring those words back into my forethought for further inspection. Was this person right? Are the things I’m saying totally pointless and a waste of time? Should I reconsider my content and focus my efforts on more meaningful topics suited for a larger and/or more educated audience? I got to thinking.

I’m not sure if anonny missed the satirical underbelly of my posts, but I’ve purposely tried to cultivate a space where I don’t take myself or the sometimes sticky situations I get into too seriously. This blog was never intended to be a super serious platform for discussing things that are widely meaningful or relevant. Although I have briefly touched on a small number of social issues, like anti-gay bullying and body consciousness, I realize the majority of my blog content surmises a number of ‘petty ramblings’ on ‘shallow concepts’ like nail colors and Beyonce songs which don’t appear to have anything to do with anything worthwhile.

And whether or not you think my blog is vapid and pointless, you are correct. If you’d like to read my words at surface value and maybe just get ideas for your next mani/pedi, or gaff at how unsophisticated I am and how embarrassing it is that my pictures are photobooth snapshots and my outfit inspirations come from Disney movies and can’t you cook something besides mac-and-cheese? then great! No, seriously, great. I am not opposed to a good laugh at my expense as long as I am in on the joke (and trust me, I am) and it makes you feel better about yourself. I may not be able to contribute to the world in the big ways that anonymous would like me to, but I do like to think that on a very surface level I can change my world in small ways, and if I have ever contributed to a laugh or a smile in the midst of a dark time for you, than I consider this blog a job well done.

But my true intention with Grow Up Meghan is to celebrate the human form in the most basic of idiosyncracies. To acknowledge and appreciate each small victory as it comes, like stepping outside for the sole purpose of appreciating a sunny day or conquering a simple fear of growing another year older. And perhaps more importantly, to recognize and to laugh at the most common but often least talked about of shared human experiences. I don’t know about you, but for me the people I most admire and often the people who garner my sincerest friendships are those brave individuals far and few between who have managed to defy societal pressures and fear of stereotypes by being their true, unabashed, honest selves. People who are as honest about sex as Samantha on S&TC or who are unafraid and unapologetic about admitting their shortcomings or who appreciate moments as they come because they realize life is short and they better get their kicks in now because there may not be anything else on the other side. It is so, so refreshing and relieving to hear someone share in a secret fear or acknowledge a common flaw that everyone’s too shy or embarrassed or afraid to talk about.

Hey! I have pimples. And money management issues. And self-esteem issues. And I’m tired of walking around in the world having to pretend like I’ve evolved passed all of those insecurities. Why are we embarrassed instead of giddy about being so into chocolate cake that we frost it and eat it before it’s been properly cooled? Why can’t we admit when rules of etiquette or relationships or institutions don’t work for us, and why are we so afraid to make and play by our own rules?  Why do we have to always be reaching beyond our means and why can’t we realize what we have when we have it or acknowledge that there are just some things we have no clue about and probably never will? THESE issues are the sparkplugs that ignite the fires for my posts. These are the parts of growing up that I aim to explore. These are the small ways in which my seemingly ignorant posts have the potential to make a difference.

Grow Up Meghan is a far cry from rocket science. It is not CNN or MSNBC or The New York Times or Vogue or Life or Martha Stewart Living. But if you open your mind and read from a different set of eyes, it can be empowering in small ways. It’s about a real ass girl with real ass issues and a real big ass. (ZING.) Maybe it’s my responsibility to reframe my posts to make these lessons more prominent and poignant, and trust me I will definitely work on that. And I’m thankful to live in a place where people are free to disagree with one another, so if you think this is shit and still want to consider me ignorant then that is your absolute prerogative. I thank you anonymous for your food for thought, and I hope maybe now you can take the time to see where I’m coming from.

E-mail me if you’d like to talk politics or environmentalism or stem cell research or Osama. I’m happy, willing, and able to flex my brain muscles to engage anyone in conversation about those topics. But in the meantime, I’m going to continue to post about getting rejected by boy crushes and dancing in my underwear to Fleetwood Mac, because those are also “true complexities” of the world in their own right, and equally worth discussing.

Jil Sander Nails

This week I looked to the much blogged about Jil Sander’s S/S 2011 collection for a lesson on color blocking with brights. I’m no stranger to mixing bright hues, but in lieu of the nasty weather this week I thought it was exceptionally important to remind myself that there actually are flowers at the end of that April showers rhyme. These nails would go perfect with a Cosmo. Politan, that is. Not the magazine.

Everyday is B’Day.

While most people commit to self improvement by incorporating things like a brisk walk, a hearty breakfast, a strong cup of coffee, or an NPR station into their morning routines, I commit to self improvement by emulating Beyonce. In small ways (humming the intro to “Irreplaceable”) or big ways (A full on hair whipping, booty popping, sweat dripping three number set of “Check on It,” “Freakum Dress,” and “Crazy In Love” in front of my stuffed animals) every day I find a way to hail to my patron saint of self-confidence, in hopes that her immortal Sasha Fierceness will in some way rub off on me. Today is no exception. So as a token of your unyielding loyalty to my blog, I’m offering you, my readers, the precious gift of a big “Ego” compliments of my ‘Queen Bey.’

(Do me a favor and don’t listen if you’re not prepared to at least throw a finger wag and a shimmy shake from your computer chair. Half hearted divas need not apply.)

Best of Beyonce

Upgrade U- Casually play this the next time you’re in the car with your crush who’s currently dating someone that’s totally wrong for them.

Check on It feat. SlimThug- Standard dancefloor-to-bedroom etiquette for respectable thugs and biddies.

Flaws and All- I’m going to leave a link for the video here. If you don’t get a little bit gooey and want to date her after looking at all her quirky faces then I’m sorry but you just don’t have a heart. Good for reminding yourself that you’re not perfect, and neither is anyone else in your life.

Bills, Bills, Bills- You’re not perfect, and neither is anyone else in your life, but there’s a difference between being charmingly flawed and a straight up scrub. It’s a fine line. (I should know, I’m walking it.)

Me, Myself, and I- There’s nothing more rewarding than finding your inner strength. Advice from other people is good, but don’t ever forget that you’re your own best friend!

Freakum Dress- Raise your hand if you’re a woman and you’ve ever played the “the best revenge is being the hottest girl in the room” game. I know. Me too.

Halo- Whoever that beautiful light skinned, blue eyed man in the music video is needs to contact me ASAP. I have his, uh, I mean. I wanted to talk to him about… I mean, Hi. I’m Meghan.

’03 Bonnie & Clyde- It’s true that this duet marked the beginning of a defining era of my life (mainly the phase where I was love stricken, laughably RnB, and desperate for a ‘ride or die’ partner), but I think my fifteen year old self totally missed the point. Don’t let the “boyfriend and girlfriend” laden lyrics fool you; this song isn’t just about a boy girl relationship, but rather a celebratory song for anyone who’s ever stuck by your side through a sticky situation. Obvious bonus points for a SATC reference, and a shining Exhibit A that Bonnie & Clyde relationships can be about you and your besties.

Ring the Alarm-  Oooh, girl, you kinda cute when you mad.

Listen- Kyle likes to point out the colloquial difference in the way I say “listen” whereas people around here say “look.” Ex: “Look. I know you’re sad, but get over it.” vs “Listen. I know you’re sad, but get over it.” Is this a MD thing, or a Meghan thing? I’m not sure. Just tryna find my own.

Ego- I cannot express my love for thinly veiled sexual validations enough. Kanye’s intro verse kills me. Thinking about what this says about Jay Z kills me. Favorite Power Couple 2kFOREVER.

If I Were a Boy- Mostly because I find myself thinking of ways to cross/break down gender barriers on a daily basis.

Say My Name- If you don’t have fond memories of this playing at some middle school dance function, you went to the wrong school.

Diva- What this playlist is all about, people.

Crazy in Love- My first memory of Beyonce as a solo artist (It might actually be her first solo debut, or it might just be the first time I remember seeing her on MTV sans Kelly and Michelle). Whatever, all I know is I wanted a silk letterman jacket and matching baseball cap for years after.

Swing Low Sweet Chariot- I saw The Fighting Temptations, I think, but I just don’t believe Beyonce in any roll that tries to make her look more homely and less fabulous than she really is. She played a humble waitress or naive church choir girl or something, but her rendition of “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” has the elaborate runs and harmonies on par with her real life diva status.

Irreplaceable- Of all the angry power ballads and flirty club jams she has blessed us with over the years, “Irreplaceable” is the Holy Grail. The founding fathers had nothing on this Declaration of Independence. It makes me feel invincible to remind myself that you’re replaceable.

Soldiers- I might be offering an unfavorable opinion on this one, but as far as I’m concerned this is only thing that Lil Wayne is good for besides “A Milli” and his verse in Keri Hilson’s “Turnin’ Me On.” It’s got the trademark “Wheezy F. Baby” line that I love so much, and hey it’s also a semi-intelligible set of lyrics that doesn’t liken sex to “dipping celery in blue cheese.” Wheezy die hards, hate on.

Bonus Track: Sandcastle Disco by Solange Knowles- Um, Beyonce’s little sister Solange isn’t just the voice of Penny Proud. She’s also a singer, and quite good if you like retro dance tracks and (blasphemously) think Beyonce is “too mainstream.”