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.

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.