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.

Taylor Swift is Kind of a Big Deal

By: Ali Benz

There is no tougher security in the world than the ladies of the JCC front desk. I have literally snuck into clubs by telling bouncers I was already inside, but these women at the J are relentless. I could’ve known some of them since birth and they still wouldn’t let me in without ID. I’d have a better chance sneaking a guy into 1Oak by saying he’s my gay cousin.

Men are so quick to shame women of power because they’re intimidated. They troll them for being unladylike when they are fierce, brilliant, and courageous. No matter the position, women need to continue to stand their ground and fight, not letting misogynistic labels fear us into weakness. That’s why Irene at the Jewish Community Center is my hero, no matter how many times she kicks me out. Apparently, you need an actual membership, not proof of Bat-Mitzvah.

Whether you’re a female CEO, athlete, drug-dealer, whatever; you deserve equal rights. Growing up in a family of therapists was a blessing and a curse. It was a blessing because I was able to learn empathy. My siblings and I were encouraged to pursue our dreams, regardless of gender barriers—though I do wish someone stopped me from wearing basketball jerseys in every school picture. It was a curse because I was constantly being analyzed. If I was crying, my mom would always hit me with the “what’s this really about” line. I’d think I was crying because I fell off my pogo-stick again, but she’d help me realize I was acting out because I carry the burden of my great-grandfather who suffered through The Depression or something. I love therapy.

I am blessed to have my mom as a role model. She went back to school to get her psychology degree while we were growing up. In a time and place where she was expected to be a stay-at-home mom, my mother decided to get her Masters and begin a fulfilling career (not that raising me wasn’t fulfilling enough). It’s amazing to see more and more women become entrepreneurs and embody positions of power. However, we still need a steady number of housewives so that we don’t lose Bravo.

Seeing the way my mom runs her business and has evolved into a highly-respected psychologist has been incredible—especially because I have the best therapists in the city at my fingertips. I only wish she’d gone into a slightly less holistic field. I can’t tell you how many rocks and shells I’ve received as gifts that have a “spiritual meaning.” I appreciate the effort Cheryl, but I’d rather have a scarf, not this stone from your Healing Garden.

Regardless of current political outcomes, women cannot back down and need to be heard. Don’t let insecure, frat boys scare you from sharing your truth. Who knew Taylor Swift was capable of more than making us cringe at award shows? Ever since T-Swizzle got candid about her opposition to sexist candidates, voting registration rose by 65,000—ironically the same value of assets Bart O’Kavanaugh claims to have. Taylor Swift, a female, has a net worth of $280 million. Just saying.

Unfortunately, Trump is now only 75% a Swiftie, so I doubt he’ll be attending her Reputation Tour. Maybe he can use that time to hit happy hour with the Pope. They can discuss how much they love rape but hate abortion. Always nice to find common ground with a new friend. Tragic.