Christmas Time in the City!

By: Ali Benz

It’s that time of year again. Time to get controversial. With the holidays coming up, everyone is high stress and loves any opportunity to complain. Everything is magical but this is New York—aka we need to be angry. It’s a perfect time to donate to the Salvation Army then immediately kick someone in the face. An amazing day to feed the homeless then cause a scene in a Popeye’s. Too soon?

The holidays are wonderful. I can’t tell if I’m seasonally depressed or clinically confused. All I know is that this Macy’s is beautiful. I want to spend every day in the Christmas Macy’s. Normally, I would need at least three Xanax to enter a department store, but not today. Today I am free and I will buy a faux fur on sale in the wrong size while listening to Michael Bublé serenade me as I try to locate a cash register in the Calvin Klein section. It will turn out to be returns-only and they won’t help me at the perfume counter but my spirits will remain high because the salvation army man is still dancing.

If you missed Black Friday because this is 2019 and you own a computer, fear not. Cyber Monday is just around the corner. If you missed Cyber Monday because today is Thursday, fear not as well. Every day is a cyber one with Amazon Prime. Instead of feeling pressured to buy your dog the perfect winter scarf that screams sexy yet elegant, just wait. The internet doesn’t sleep. Also, don’t cut corners with your pet. If you love your Schnoodle you’ll pay full price. Never settle for burgundy because they don’t have it in jet-black.

Fashion dominates the market this time of year, but we get riled up over the simple things as well. Starbucks has happy hour but we don’t care about that because their cups are so controversial. ‘Tis the season to freak out over a coffee mug. Oh, it’s red? Absolutely not. This establishment is racist. I’ll still take that tall blonde skinny vanilla latte though, thanks. I think the issue is that all this holiday cheer gives people a false sense of security. We suddenly think we’re invincible because there’s a wreath on the doorknob. I don’t get it. If plant-decor could make one feel so powerful, then why hasn’t my ficus been working? Someone please look into this.

Maybe there’s something in the air. Whatever it is, I keep catching it. I think I’ve been on antibiotics since September. Not a good look. I see my doctor so much she invited me to her Hanukkah for night three. It’s a bad month to be on medication. With all the holiday parties and such, I don’t get why they keep prescribing me things that say “don’t mix with alcohol.” I mean, could you be more specific? What else am I going to mix this with? Someone please let me know the wine pairing for Amoxicillin.

Cheers to making it through this holiday season. Make sure they put a Menorah up in your workplace because the tree is so banal. Hit up an ex to go ice-skating even though you hate sports. Buy your mom a Rumba so she can multi-task during hot yoga. And if your older cousin invites you to Ann Taylor Loft, remember that it’s not a secret rave in Brooklyn. It’s a literal clothing store from like, the 60’s. Tragic.

November: Doing the Least

By: Ali Benz

It’s that weird time of year again between Halloween and Christmas. A time where people do the absolute least. Everyone is exhausted from planning their slutty Halloween costumes and no one is sure if they’re on vacation or not. I just ordered a caesar salad and I’m pretty sure this girl just gave me mayo on romaine. No chance I’m eating it but I respect the minimal effort.

Halloween also lasted through November, and might still be going on now, but nobody knows for sure. I’m so pale right now I look like Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka so my costume is going strong regardless. Thank god the clocks set back because I need some time to recover from what I saw this spooky season. So many slutty Pokémon my childhood is ruined. Also, a guy asked me to be a pod to his Juul but I’m an independent woman who don’t need no man so bye Felicia. Find another pod.

Also, ‘tis the season to not shut the f*ck up about the weather. Why do people love to talk about temperature so much? Yes, Karen, the leaves fall around this time of year every year. Get over it. I once talked about the rain with a co-worker for thirty minutes. I will never get that time back and all I learned is that it was already raining. Next topic.

No one really likes to discuss Thanksgiving. TG is so random. No idea what pilgrim sorcery this is but I’ve already been invited to like six potlucks. I don’t even know how to cook and now I have to bake a pie for my best friend’s sister’s ex-boyfriend’s cousin. I really need to stop RSVPing to things. That reminds me, I also committed to a 5k Turkey Trot. After seeing the psychopaths who ran the New York marathon, I don’t know why I’d involve myself in this treachery. If I wanted to travel uncomfortably for 26 miles I would’ve just booked a flight on Spirit.

This run might be the most I do in November. I thought about booking a flight to Boca Raton to get some color and also visit my grandma, but that seems like effort. Also, I’m trying to partake in no-shave November and going to Florida will require a razor. This is a scary month for me because I have a fear of beards/ facial hair. Every guy is about to look homeless until December first. Thank god Emma Watson coined the term “self-partnered” so I can tell my relatives I’m technically not single. Someone from Harry Potter said I’m dating myself. Perfect.

While everyone looks like Hagrid this month, maybe you can focus on your career rather than your nonexistent love life. The only reason people have boyfriend’s in NY anyway is to afford an apartment with exposed brick. Sorry, that was kind of a dig at my sister and her boyfriend, but I’m just salty they got a new place without me to take their relationship to the “next level”. Not sure why they wouldn’t want to be roomies. I could’ve absolutely gotten them to the next level in a two-bedroom in West Village on top of a pizza shop where we all share one bathroom and the laundry machine is in the kitchen. Tragic.

Anyway, back to your career. Now that it’s cold, as your co-workers have alerted you every day, you can spend more time building your resume and less time blacking out on rooftops. It never hurts to check in with yourself and see what else is out there. I know I said November is about doing the bare minimum, but opening up LinkedIn is really not that hard. It might even be time to update your picture from a selfie to an actual headshot that doesn’t scream “I still do keg-stands on the weekend and have a really good relationship with my weed dealer.” It’s time to upload that psychotic smiling over the left shoulder pic with the blue backdrop that will let recruiters know you may have drank PBR through a funnel in the past, but now you sip martinis at a one drink limit and pronounce Barcelona with a “th”.

Whether this month leaves you in limbo or at a new career, just know it’s almost over and winter is coming. Mariah Carey saw her shadow so we’ll be hearing that Christmas song soon. At least I think that’s how it works. Just be grateful they’re not playing “Disturbia” in the lobby anymore and I can stop pretending I’ve seen Hocus Pocus. Don’t @ me. Now all the scary stories will be real, like T.I. taking his grown daughter to the gyno or the one about the Ukrainian orphan dwarf. Look it up.

Stop Selling Me Things

By: Ali Benz

Has anyone ever had to Venmo a homeless person? I have. Not having cash is no longer an adequate excuse. The ease of sending money makes everything super awkward, like when I have to donate to a cause on Facebook for a birthday every other day so I can sleep at night. Between Paypal, Zelle, and online shopping there are no limits.  You can literally sell anything. Whether it’s a product, an idea, or an app—someone’s buying. People want the next best thing even if it’s dumb af. You can literally put your trash on Etsy and call it a “Vintage Dream-Catcher” then suddenly some weirdo in Colorado is paying your rent.

I know everyone has seen those stupid Scooters around town for people who can’t afford Uber. That’s already pretty f*cking weird, but now I’m seeing pogo-sticks. You can hop your ass to work now. I was a professional pogo-sticker back in ‘02, but best believe you won’t catch me on one of those today. Pogos are absolutely not a method of transportation and make literally no sense. Imagine if you didn’t have the right backpack on—or bra. I’m so disturbed. Please, no more bouncing. Bring back Heely’s.

If you commute to work like a normal person, you probably need a decent night’s rest. Everyone has insomnia these days because it’s like, “in”. Super irritating considering I haven’t been able to sleep for years but now everybody wants to talk about it. Luckily, people capitalize on trends immediately and sell weird products on the internet to my mom. First, it was CBD oil. Now, it’s f*cking lavender? What? I told my mother I couldn’t sleep and she sent me a jar of lavender to lather myself in. It never put me to sleep but I do smell like a f*cking candle. Usually when I can’t go to bed my friends give me five melatonin and a Benadryl and hope I STFU. It doesn’t work either but at least I don’t turn into a plant.

Speaking of transforming, can everyone please stop downloading the FaceApp? Why are you so obsessed with posting pics of yourselves as old people? Your day will come. I legit never once wondered what any of my friends would look like at age eighty. Also, I don’t get why celebs insist on aging themselves in the app, too? No one cares what you look like Ludacris—I didn’t even know you weren’t that old. Please be more relevant. And seriously, Jonas Brothers? Why’d you do Kevin dirty like that?! He was already the least interesting to look at then they went and gave just him one of those creepy skin tags. Tragic.

When the internet isn’t targeting face-tuners, they pray on the over-weight. Forever 21 sent Atkins bars with plus-size orders as part of a master marketing plan that certainly wouldn’t be offensive. What do these people think, their XL customers will be flattered to receive subpar diet bars with their jeggings? That they’ll start buying Atkins products because the most disorganized clothing company in the world suggested it? Taking diet advice from a Forever 21 is like taking dating advice from Tiger Woods: It just doesn’t work.

Unfortunately, the FBI agents in our phones will continue to stalk us and bombard us with ads for exactly what we want. You can’t escape it. Instagram will target you. Amazon will find you. Don’t drink and Prime. You might just end up with two pashminas in the middle of July.

Your Diet Starts Here

By: Ali Benz

As Memorial Day Weekend approaches, many of us are scrambling to get in shape to drown ourselves in rosé in the Hamptons. I even considered observing Ramadan to lose weight, but I realized that was kind of ridiculous. It’s brilliant that they schedule the fast right before the first beach weekend of the year, but starving yourself is not the move. I stan a spiritual fast, but if you don’t even have the religious involvement or clothing, it’s not for you. Ramadan, but make it fashion.

You’re crazy if you think there’s such a thing as the perfect body. Seriously, like not even Kendall Jenner. I remember last year when she got shamed for having strange-length toes. Weird flex, but ok. Aside from imperfect feet, no one seems to ever be content with their weight. I always thought it was super annoying when boys would complain that they were too skinny.  Are you kidding me? The last time I complained about being too thin was in 6th grade when I couldn’t fill out a jean skirt from Abercrombie & Fitch.

Men are insecure about being too small while women fear being large and in charge. Can’t we just meet somewhere in the middle? Not to bring up the Kardashians again, but I’ve always admired their commitment to strength and fitness. These women work out like crazy and take pride in their thicc, muscular bodies. I find it super empowering. That’s how Kim landed her role in Paris Hilton’s music video for her new single “Best Friend’s Ass”. Obviously a very powerful, thought-provoking jam that you’ll be showing your grandkids. With lyrics like, “F*ckboys everywhere tryna get a pass / but I can’t stop staring at my best friend’s ass”, you know you’ll be hearing it at mainstage at your nearest music festival as you get knocked around in GA by girls shuffling in nipple-tassels and that one guy who consistently brings a glow-in-the-dark hula-hoop and asks if you want a light show. Tragic.

Speaking of music festivals, I am taking a hiatus (don’t quote me on this). I used to say if you want to lose a few pounds just go to EDC Las Vegas or something. Between sweating all night and walking around looking for your car for three hours in the desert, you’ll be shedding pounds in no time. I know it sounds luxurious, but this is also not a healthy weight-loss method. That’s like Ramadan but on molly and with no spiritual awakening—unless you’re that forty-year-old in the crowd that keeps tripping on acid and claiming he’s talked to God.

I will also be taking a break from these events because last night my friend said she was going to Alcatraz and I asked her who would be DJing. It’s a prison. Not a music festival. Everybody was disappointed that day. If you are worthier than me and attending an actual festy, I understand you might want to diet and look your best in the crowd—or in your pics taken in the crowd, I should say. Especially now, seeing as how Tinder has decided to make a “Festival Mode” because that’s exactly what we all needed after the Herpes outbreak at Coachella. Thanks, Match Group! I just googled who owns Tinder and it said Match Group if you didn’t get the reference either.

If you will be using Tinder Festival Mode, there are other ways to get fit for your future #RaveBae. Starvation and deprivation are so 1900’s. Both men and women should focus on eating a healthy diet and exercising in a way that is best for them. If you have a beer or five at a Yankee’s game it’s not the end of the world. Enjoy yourself and focus on being the best version of you. Women: don’t be afraid to go hard in the gym and lift weights—muscles are beautiful on every gender. Men: stop complaining about being too skinny because it’s f*cking obnoxious. Just roll with it and know that the entire female community is envious of your situation. If everyone would stop judging each other and their body types, the world would be a better place.

Who cares what it says on the scale. The number doesn’t matter, I’m pretty sure it’s random anyway. Super dramatic that my doctor must weigh me literally every time I see her. Get over it it’s like you’re obsessed with me or something. Then I always have to minus like ten pounds for my shoes and everything in my pockets like that one piece of gum and my hair tie. Forget about the number and hone in on how you feel. Treat yourself, and wear that bikini that your mom said was too smol. Just not to a work event.

Relationship Advice No One Asked For

By: Ali Benz

Cuffing season is over and spring has sprung. I said it. Honestly, people in relationships are annoying AF. Having a mate is fun and all, but have you ever tried not having one? Let’s get dramatic for a minute so you can stop whining about your break-up and start wallowing in your single-ness. Wallow.

Most importantly, and I can’t stress this enough, is your Instagram feed. Studies show that posting a pic with your s/o cuts your likes by nearly 50% (not yet confirmed statistic). If your likes/comments are that low, there’s no way swimsuit brands will reach out to you to become an ambassador with a 40% off discount code. Tragic. Boyfriends/Girlfriends make you poor via social media. It’s basic math.

If you are out at a bar with your man, there is absolutely no way the lead singer of L.M.F.A.O. will buy you a drink. This is a true story and I was the victim. I’m still working through the pain I felt when the greatest artist of our generation sent tequila shots to all my single friends as I just sat there, sober and afraid. Redfoo, if you’re reading this, I need you to know that guy was my cousin and you hurt an innocent girl that night.

Does anyone know if Facebook is still a thing? All I miss about that platform was its ability to remember my aunt’s birthday and put relationships on blast. Back in my day, you’d broadcast that sh*t immediately and claim your bae. Then, when your two-week high school fling came to a shocking end, everyone and their mother knew instantly. This was great because you didn’t have to tell anyone you broke up, Mark Zuckerberg handled that. A gentleman and a scholar! Nowadays, you’re forced to personally reach out and tell your friends you got dumped, or risk suffering alone.

Still not convinced? This one’s for all you club-rats. You cannot get into the clerb with your boyfriend. Stop trying. It’s embarrassing. You can beg the doorman all you want, but having a guy that can’t pay cover is not cute. Why stay home when you could be at Marquee covered in cranberry juice and Ciroc? A promoter once texted me “1 Oak with Lil Romeo tonight” and I had to give that up. Why? Because I was in a relationship. I had to sacrifice a night of partying in the presence of a king all because I slipped and fell in love. Lesson learned. Side note: this promoter still texts me every night to this day, and I haven’t lived in LA for six years. This poor guy must be like 40 now. “Justin Promo”, if you’re still out there, please disregard all previous advice and get married. Asap. You make us uncomfortable.

What the Smollett…

By: Ali Benz

I need to come clean: I walked around with a black smudge on my forehead on Ash Wednesday for personal gain. It wasn’t that serious, I just had to convince my trainer I gave up cardio for Lent. Genius, I know, but if I was a celeb it might’ve been cultural appropriation or some sh*t. It also didn’t help that I work out at the Jewish Community Center.

My little ash stunt wasn’t nearly as bad as recent scandals. I feel like we live in the Purge. Never seen that movie but I assume it goes something like this. There are literally no consequences for anything—especially if you have money. Jussie Smollett got away with his fake hate crime for the small price of 10k. Pretty good deal for a staged attack, don’t ya think? Must have been Black Friday (not a pun).

The Mueller Report essentially exonerated President Trump. This was a bigger let down than 7/11’s ban on Mango Juul pods. It’s fine that they found no collusion etc., but like why be so dramatic about it? There was this huge build-up for literally nothing. Does Robby Muellz just like the spotlight? Everybody is a star these days; My dog, hot lawyers, idiots on Summer House that blackout in the Hamptons—anyone. And it’s not even their fault. All of us want a story, so they give us a show. It doesn’t matter what’s wrong and what’s right, just keep it interesting.

Aunt Becky did not disappoint. Lori Loughlin bribed USC to enroll her daughter and now she’s more relevant than ever. She might even get a show! I tried to bribe a teacher once and he reported me. Still unsure how “If you round that up to a 90 I’ll cover your tab” is inappropriate, but I guess that’s what happens when you bump into your professor at a Ruby Tuesday. Although Loughlin’s “influencer” daughter, Olivia Jade, lost her make-up sponsors, she’s still winning in my book. I have literally never heard of her. Now I’m writing about her. I got waitlisted from USC and I slipped a twenty in my application but nobody wants to talk about that now do they? OJ (can I call her that?) slips a casual 500k with her Common App and all of a sudden she’s a BFD. Go big or go home I guess. Tragic.

Hate to bring up this rando again, but Jordyn Woods—WTF?! This girl dragged us through a devastating cheating scandal and now she’s America’s next top model? I fought for you, Jordyn! I cried and battled multiple strangers on the internet for you, Jordyn! Where is the loyalty? You played me for a fool, Jordyn! But you knew what you were doing. You caught the scandal bug. I respect it, considering you drop-kicked the Kardashians, shed a few tears for the people back home, then rose to fame overnight. I just wish some of us got the same treatment: When Woods blacks out at a party and hooks up with someone, she calls Will Smith. When my friends blackout at a guy’s party, we call Planned Parenthood. I just feel like it’s slightly unfair but whatever.

One minor step backward, two huge steps forward. Give us a good scam and we’ll sling you to stardom. I finally get why they say no publicity is bad publicity. Keep the people talking. I just wish my therapist understood. Every time I get kicked out of a bar she says I need to quit drinking. Jokes on her because all of downtown has been talking about me for weeks. If my calculations are correct I should be a star by noon.

 

Casamigos On The Ice

By: Ali Benz

Reality star Brett Kavanaugh made it very clear that he likes beer. Boys and girls like beer. V cool revelation. I, however, only drink Casamigos. I could go on about its vanilla undertones and sh*t, but seriously, you’ve got to try this tequila. Life-changing.

If you didn’t blow all of your summer money on Juul pods and sparkling seltzer, chances are you’re back on your bullsh*t. With this cold weather approaching, we are all gearing up in our best liquor blankets. No coat-check necessary.

As I made my triumphant return to nightlife, strictly for investigative journalism purposes, I grew extremely disappointed. Finding: people are still ordering bottles of Vodka to the table. I don’t care that your Tito’s is gluten-free, Sebastían, I want some f*cking Tequila. More specifically: Casamigos.

When I asked if any good alcohol would be coming, this uncultured swine of a bottle girl offered me a shot of Patrón. Tragic. I mean, did I take it? Yeah—there are sober children in Africa. I’m not a monster. But it was awful. My palette is clearly way too refined.

At least it wasn’t Vodka. Tequila comes from the agave plant and is way better for you according to, like, science…and Pitbull. Dalé.

If only Casamigos knew how much (of other people’s) money I’ve spent on their products. Maybe then they wouldn’t have left me on read when I slid in the DM. Over it.

Anyway, if you don’t idolize Mr. 305 the way I do, then maybe you should know that this tequila was founded/blessed by silver-fox George Clooney himself. So, if you’re having trouble stomaching silver-sex-offender Kavanaugh this week, grab yourself a bottle of Georgie’s Casamigos, and try to black-out the way poor little Brettski never could.