Tag Archives: cosmopolitan

Pitchforks and hay, cat butts, promises, and questionable prizes.

So I find myself struggling, sometimes, lately, with remembering how little I wanted to do with other people’s children when I was single with no children and just trying to live my life in public places and trying to enjoy my right to… enjoy those places, and how fresh those memories are, and how much I remember being that person, and how much I still am that person, and how much sympathy I have for those people when I am out in a public place with my admittedly pretty stereotypically terrible toddler, and how that rubs up against the fact that I do have a kid now, and there’s a whole lot of “what can you do?” and “I also have to live this life” and “I also need to be in this place” and a whole lot of boiling up feelings of MY BABY IS ALLOWED HERE that I do my level best to stomp down, because yes, of course she is, and I won’t be told any different, but there is a huge difference between my baby being allowed somewhere and my baby’s right to be somewhere spreading all over someone else’s right to enjoy being somewhere.

Anyway, you know what I’m saying? I’m in no way making an effort to be the cool mom lady. The mom lady who doesn’t change from her single, childless ways now that she has a baby, who is still hip and with it and doesn’t let having a toddler cramp her style. The mom lady who swears to always understand that the single, childless people have the God-given right to enjoy their lives without hearing a peep or seeing an errant streak of snot so their delicate other-people’s-poop free existence remain untainted.

(Note that I am not accusing single people of demanding this behavior, but I am instead making fun of a certain breed of parents who try to behave in this way. I can make fun of parents, it’s cool. I am one. Some of my best friends are parents. I’m allowed.)

No, I’m not the cool mom lady, and I’m not trying to be. My style is cramped. My style is tiny and hunched over. My style is stuffed into to go containers with a lot of mumbled, “Sorry, sorry, sorry,” on the way out of restaurants. That I still go to. Early.

No, I am definitely not a cool mom lady. I don’t want to be a cool mom lady. If I wanted the same life that I had before I had a kid, if I wanted my life to be as close as possible to my pre-child life, the best way to go about that would be to not have a baby. But I do try my best to straddle the line. I don’t expect the world to cater to me because I had a baby. (Oh, and they don’t. Holy shit you guys, how about the difference between pregnancy and baby? “Oh, a pregnant lady! Let me get that door for you, let me get out of your way, oh, excuse me, oh, you’re a treasure, smile, smile, smile!” And then, AND THEN, “Oh, a woman with a stroller and a diaper bag, and 40 shopping bags, let me let that door slam in your face, let me grab that last shopping cart out from under your hands, QUICK HIT THE DOOR CLOSE BUTTON.” Children: only adorable til born.) I take my crying child out of restaurants. I run errands during off hours when I have to take her with me. I don’t let her run through stores, I don’t let her unfold tables of clothing (seriously, your child is an asshole), I don’t let her ruin your day if I can help it.

Basically, I’m super-conscious about being That Mom. I really don’t want to be That Mom. I don’t want to be the woman I used to talk about. I don’t want to be the lady who thinks your world should revolve around her kid. But you know, I’m perfectly fine with the fact that mine does. For now, at least. It does. I’m not embarrassed about it. I don’t think it’s anything to be ashamed of. I don’t think it’s sad that I don’t have any bigger interests. I don’t think that makes me That Mom. I mean, take my Facebook account. I post about Penny constantly. Pictures, status updates, videos. I mean, it’s all Penny, all the time. When I read a friend’s status, though, and I catch myself about to say something like, “Yeah, when Penny –,” or somehow relate it back to my kid, I don’t.

I have not even begun to make my point.

Here’s the thing. You know how I am really into terrible in law stories? That, plus advice from old women about the fact that my child is never wearing socks, really soured me on the whole “it takes a village” thing. Well, plus we no longer live in villages. I don’t need anyone’s help in raising my child. You know what it takes? It takes me, my husband, and an Internet. It Takes an Internet. That should be what they say now. It Takes an Internet. 

Anyway, I thought the whole village thing was stupid mainly because I felt like it gave aggravating as hell people license to butt their stupid irritating noses into your business and tell you what to do, simply because their were AROUND, thus part of your VILLAGE, and you can’t get mad, because, oooh, villager, and, I don’t know, burning hay on pitchforks or something. I really never followed the metaphor all the way out. Or analogy. I never really followed that lesson all the way out. And please don’t take it upon yourself to actually give me the lesson in the comments. I have the Internet. If I was actually interested, I would use my Internet. Go back to your village. Damn!

Terrible or not, I have to take my toddler out in public. It’s part of my job, actually, to make her less terrible. She is kind of a demon, and we have some cross country flights coming up, and I just need her to be… less terrible. At least when other people can see her. So yesterday, she and I were running some errands, and she did pretty well. Kind of well. It was okay. Nobody really cried, not with actual tears. So, when we were finished, I took her for a snack at Starbucks. We got a water and a slice of lemon cake, because those things are fast, with no waiting, and we sat at a table to share them.

And Penny was just delighted. I mean, just fucking delighted. I think she’s old enough to know now, sort of, when something is a little bit of a special treat. She was out with just me, and I didn’t make her sit in a high chair. She got to pick the snack from behind the glass, though she really just kind of slapped at it. I had it in front of me, and was breaking off pieces for her, so she was getting some of “Mama’s snack.” She was really excited, but we’re working on keeping the exuberance and shrieking down to… not shrieking… in public. And she was doing great. I mean, in my opinion. She’s still a toddler. And I know that can grate on some people. And you have to understand, I’m not saying that snottily. In the townhouses I used to live in, there was a family living in the next set of units over, and they would put their kids outside to play very early in the morning on weekends, and they would play, indeed. Loudly. And happily. And I swear to you, there was no sound more awful to me than the sound of children’s happiness. I mean, it was terrible. I’m retro-hating it, even now.

So even though we were there during off hours, and even though she was being good – for a toddler – I was doing my best to be quick. I’m not trying to tell you I’m a cool mom lady, see above. I’m trying to tell you I’m aware, at least. I’m aware. I’m aware of the limits of my toddler, and I’m sympathetic to the limits of people in general where toddlers are concerned. There was a man working behind us, and several couples chatting, it wasn’t too crowded. I understand that those people were not my village. I don’t believe in the village concept. Or at least, I didn’t.

Every person that went by, Penny would kind of check them out, wave a little bit of lemon cake at them, and say, “SNAAAA!” Snaaa. Kind of nasally, really excited. It means “snack.” And “snack” means anything in a bowl, or anything that someone else is eating that she thinks she might be able to snake some. And I’d say, “Mmhm, snack. Remember, inside voice, okay? Eat over the table, wipe your face, etc, etc.” We’re working on becoming a functioning human being here, you know? And people would smile and move on, or say hi to her, or nod, or whatever. I don’t know, the split second interaction you have with a toddler who is making an effort to engage with you.

Except, except this ONE WOMAN, who came and sat down right near us, and who was only waiting for a drink, not there to stay who just deliberately turned her face away when Pen tried to SNAAAA at her. And okay, you know, I guess that’s fine. Okay. Okay. In fact, I think I remember snorting with laughter when I read a post online somewhere about a woman being angry when people wouldn’t smile back at her kid. Because that is ridiculous. No one is required to smile at your kid. That is how I was reasoning with myself. No one is required to smile at your kid. I am not That Mom, no one is required to smile at my kid.

Except even now (it’s tomorrow), I am still huffy and trying to tamp down my inner That Momness, because look, me and the Internet will tell my husband how we’re going to raise this baby, and we’ll go ahead and do it, and we’re not going to ask you, Starbucks Lady, to jump in and be the village and wipe her butt or deliberate over preschools or anything like that, I promise. Nothing. No villaging the baby. But for the love of shit, could you just engage a few neurons when she attempts to make social contact? I’m not asking you to join a tribunal and come to budget meetings, I’m asking you to just show a flicker in your eye sockets, anything, and only during this formative social learning period. I will wipe the asses, clean the snot holes, etc, and YOU “be the village” by helping her not become a sociopath. When we’re ready to move on to the “well, honey, some people are cunts” lesson, I’ll give you the nod. I’m sure it won’t be long, what with your cat butt-looking face walking around out there.

Is it even possible? IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE to parent without, to some degree, becoming That Mom? I hope I’m clear in that I don’t want to be a cool mom lady, I don’t expect to be thought of as such, but was it too much to expect that I could straddle the line indefinitely?

I don’t, I don’t really expect you to smile at my baby. I don’t really get mad. I mean, I do notice. I can’t help noticing. I don’t think the non-react-backers are awful people. They’re just people I take note of. I’ll present your names to the judge if Pen turns into an arsonist.

“I HAVE THE NAMES OF THE ENTIRE VILLAGE, YOUR HONOR. RIGHT HERE. THE ENTIRE VILLAGE.”

No but seriously. I don’t even know. You don’t have to. I don’t even. I’m both That Mom and not That Mom. I’m both. I don’t even know.

*****

HEY PAY ATTENTION TO THIS PART REALLY PLEASE.

Over in the sidebar is a link to Phil’s fundraising page for the Extra Life marathon to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network – specifically, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, where Penny has been receiving treatment since she was very small.

I know a lot of you have already donated, and it is SO APPRECIATED. He blew his goal OUT OF THE WATER, and he was so shocked and grateful.

But now, he is only $68 away from earning $1000 for PCH, and that is INSANE.

I don’t have a lot to offer. What I have to offer is embarrassing in that… I don’t know if you even want it. But listen. Today is the last day. If you donate anything today – ANY AMOUNT – and Phil makes it over $1000 before the marathon starts tomorrow at 8am, I will do a TJ’s Cosmo Cliff’s Notes of your choosing, and promptly. No promising to do it and disappearing for 3 weeks. And “of your choosing” means any media easily available to me. It could be Cosmo, or any other magazine I can get off the shelf. Or? Any episode of a currently airing TV show. Or? A show available on Netflix streaming or Amazon streaming. Or a podcast. Or… or whatever. You donate, you choose.

I know. It’s not really… anything. It’s what I have. I mean, I can make you an 8-bit perler bead hair bow barrette. I can do that. If you donate $12 ($.50 per hour!) and you’d rather have that, I can make you one of those instead. It’s equally lame. I can’t help it. We’re a lame people. But we really do have good intent toward PCH!

Regardless of if he makes $1000 or not, the marathon is tomorrow. Follow me on Twitter to get pictures and updates of Phil’s progress, except for the hours that I’m asleep. Because, ha, no.

EDIT: HOLY CRAP. $1000 passed! BUT MY OFFER STANDS. Of course money for PCH is still welcome, we love them. If you donate today – ANY AMOUNT – just email me and let me know. Take your time to pick your media of choice and redeem it whenever.

THANK YOU EVERYONE!

Penny’s prepared to step in if needed.

You could have read Cosmo yourself in the time it took me to do this. You’re WELCOME.

Ok, the time for false promises is through. I have an hour until nap time, a baby in a jumper, and a fresh Cosmo that no one has the time or inclination to read. So, with all of these ingredients, I attempt to bring to you once again Cosmopolitan Magazine: The TJ Notes.

Oh, I know, you thought it was never coming ever again. That I had given up on helping you out in this way. But did you ever think that maybe I was giving you a chance to decide if you’d really like to read an entire Cos– HAHAHA, I kid.

Anyway, usual stuff – Cosmo has this page inside of it, near the front, that lays out all the important points of the magazine for you so that you don’t actually have to read it. I take it one step further for you, providing TJ Notes, so that you don’t even have to buy it.

Adele is on the cover this month, with the tag line, “Why She’ll Never Regret Falling for Mr. Wrong.” I’m sure Cosmo will drag that whole thing out to a couple of pages, but I’m pretty sure she has no regrets because now she’s rich and famous and he’s not, which erases regrets in two ways: One, with money, which can erase many, many things. And two, with a whole bunch of IN YOUR FACENESS to the ex, which, come on, makes up for any hassle and pain. You broke up with her, now she’s loaded. I can understand why she’d have no regrets. She’s basically the winner. No one regrets winning.

As always, 34 pages and one Barrymore into the magazine, you will find the “Ask Cosmo” section. I think I’ve been doing this long enough to know that one, Cosmo is almost always wrong and two, my answers are way better, so here we go.

Q: I’m freaked out by all the stories about stars’ phones being hacked and their naked pics being leaked all over the Internet. Is there a way to keep my secret stuff safe?

A: Two part answer, lady. Part one: are you a star? No? Then no one actually gives a shit about your nudie goods. Part two: Are you an idiot? I can only assume so, if you’ve got naked pictures of yourself on your phone. As a non-star, your pictures are safe. As an idiot, someone is surely going to find them anyway. There’s basically no hope for you.

What’s sexy right now: Showing off a lacy bra. Oh, you mean, to your husband? No? You mean… just, out there? Like your shirt is cut too low and there’s your bra? For everyone to see? Cosmo, I overrule you. Revealing something that is usually covered for everyone to see is not sexy. Hinting at something is sexy. Or revealing something to a specific person, that is sexy. Putting your grunties out there for the world to look at is not sexy.

Also, I don’t see how going to DJ school is sexy. It’s like Cosmo didn’t even get the highlighted and annotated dictionary I mailed. I don’t see how Cosmo has time to write a whole magazine if they don’t have time to even open their mail.

So I’m reading the Adele article and guess what? She doesn’t regret Mr. Wrong because now she’s rich and famous. BAM. Nailed it.

(This is how far I got before nap time. It’s now 3 hours later. “Why didn’t you write during Penny’s nap?,” you ask, as if you know everything, ever. Well, I didn’t say WHOSE NAP TIME it was, now did I, smart butt?)

This month’s The Naughtiest Thing I’ve Ever Done was supposedly written by a supposed woman who supposedly slept with her supposed professor. All those “supposedlies” should translate to, “Wow, this sounds completely made up.” Next month: The Naughtiest Thing I’ve Ever Done: Completely made up a story about sleeping with my professor so I could gain some kind of anonymous non-fame in a magazine widely regarded as a joke by anyone above the age where they might have found sleeping with a professor to be a fantasy of some sort. Not that ladies don’t sleep with professors. I just don’t think that this lady did. Because it sounds made up. Like some of the blogs I read. (The Internet isn’t that stupid.)

It seems that once again Cosmo is running the 101 Things About Men feature, and I maintain that there simply are not 101 things about men to know, but I do have to hand it to Cosmo this month. Right at the front of the feature are three pictures of men – Jude Law, Marc Anthony, and Anthony Kiedis – demonstrating the recent apparent “trend” of creepy porn-esque mustaches. And it’s true, Jude Law and Anthony Kiedis look disgusting and creepy. But Marc Anthony looks how he always looks. 

I see what you did there, Cosmo, and I liked it.

Apparently, a lie 50% of men tell is about how many people they’ve slept with. Apparently, 50% of men date women who are insecure and intrusive, but probably some of them mask it behind the “we have no secrets” front as an excuse to demand unnecessary details. Just because you have no secrets doesn’t mean you tell each other everything. Phil and I don’t keep secrets from each other, but he doesn’t know how old I was when I started my period.

His Top 5 Sex Dreams, Number 3: He’s getting it on with a vampire.

Cosmo, have you met men? I’m just curious.

Stud Meter! The top of the stud charts this month is Colton Haynes, whoever the shit that is. Apparently he’s the star of Teen Wolf? And there’s nudity? In Teen Wolf? Look, if it’s got nudity and no van surfing, Teen Wolf it is not.

At the bottom of the stud meter is Matthew Fox, because apparently he got drunk and punched a woman in the crotch. Hey, look, if you flip the Stud Meter upside down, you have the Hilarious Meter!

This month’s Fun, Fearless Fashion is all centered around the color red. Wearing red during the holiday season – how novel, fun, and fearless.

YOUR HIDDEN WINTER SKIN RISK! ATTENTION! ATTENTION! DO I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION? The sun still comes out in the winter! It’s still the sun! It still has rays! There’s no magical winter light-ball that’s letting you see your way to work, home, and skanking around. That’s the SUN! IT’S STILL THE SUN! The cancer sun. YES! THAT SUN! STILL THERE!

Q: How can I rock the pink eyeshadow trend without looking like I am hungover or have a cold?

A: First, have green eyes. Second, I don’t care. Third, ladies, look, we need to talk. Stop saying “rock” in this sense. You are not “rocking” those jeans. You are wearing them. You are not “rocking” pink eyeshadow. You’re wearing it. Besides, your eyes aren’t green. You look hungover. No, but seriously. Stop saying “rock” when you mean “wear.” You sound ridiculous. You’re probably the same person who talks about grabbing a “tee.” YOU ARE NOT ROCKING THAT TEE. I am going to rock you. With a rock. That’s how you do it.

Next, we come to one of the cover features, titled 100 Best Sex Tips of the Year. Of the year people. These are 100 sex tips from just this year, confirming my belief that if you neglect your sex life for too long, they up and change it on you.

Let’s see if we can find some groundbreaking sexual discoveries for 2011.

7. Slip on cashmere gloves, and slowly stroke his member.

Don’t do this. Times are hard, you guys, and even if they weren’t, we don’t use cashmere on penises. We also don’t call penises “members.”

11. Spike a pasta dish with saffron. A 2011 study proved the garnish is an aphrodisiac.

Oh, yeah, let’s just bust out all the cashmere and saffron. Let’s gold-plate my vagina while we’re at it, huh? Also, WHO WANTS TO HAVE SEX AFTER A BIG PLATE OF PASTA? I want to lay around and moan. Alone. In elastic pants.

All of the rest of this is definitely 2010 stuff. NICE TRY, COSMO.

The Fierce Sex Every Couple Should Try: It sounds insane, but werewolf action, inspired by WILFs (that’s werewolf I’d like to, well, you know) on —

COSMO YOU ARE SERIOUSLY FUCKING WITH ME RIGHT NOW, RIGHT? Did Cosmo seriously just coin to term WILF? WILF. WIIIIIIILF. Say it with me. WILF. WILF. If I pointed out a WEREWOLF to you and called him a WILF, could you ever be my friend again? No. No, in fact, you’d be obligated to slap me across the face and punch me in the crotch, Matthew Fox-style.

Goddamnit, Cosmo, I wish you had a crotch right now.

Sex Q+A – Look, Internet, I’m not a sex expert – or a “sexpert,” as Cosmo would say, right before doubling over from a punch to the crotch – but I’ve had some. I have proof. I call it Penny. So, here I go, with some As for the Qs.

Q: What’s the best position for having sex in the bath tub?

A: You tell me that, and I’ll tell you the best position for squatting over a cup so your UTI can be diagnosed.

(This is how far I got before second nap time. I got up part way through to finish this for you. This used to be way easier.)

Here’s an article about how women should stop being so polite (and start getting real). No, seriously. It’s about how, as ladies, we sometimes act in ways that are detrimental to ourselves in the name of being polite. Here’s a shocking example: if you don’t ask your boss for a raise, you probably won’t get one. You won’t get one because you’re too polite. Or, because you have no idea how the world works. Or, because, like the Internet, you have a misguided idea about “niceness” and it’s place in the world.

NO, SERIOUSLY, THOUGH. It’s not “not nice” to advocate for yourself. It’s not “not nice” to not like everyone. It’s not even the end of the world to not always be “nice.” You know what’s a stupid word? Nice.

Once again, I come across one of Cosmo”s “shameless” sections, which always centers around money. To dedicate sections to money-saving tips and even just common sense ideas – such as this month’s tip on finding cheap airfare – and then call them “shameless” seems to indicate that we should feel shame – or would, without Cosmo’s permission not to – about finding deals, saving money, or simply being wise with our spending.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m never against money-saving tips. I’m just against money-saving being categorized as something sneaky, or secret, or as a “no one has to know you didn’t break the bank!” kind of thing. I don’t think searching for a deal is something to be ashamed of. I don’t think looking for the best price reflects on you as the act of a poor person. I don’t think being wise with your money makes you appear cheap or broke or anything unflattering. I don’t see why Cosmo continues to back-handedly continue these ideas.

YOU ONLY COST $4, COSMO. YOU’RE NOT EXACTLY A LUXURY HABIT YOURSELF.

Hey, let’s do that thing where I read the title of an article, don’t read it, and then write the entire thing myself.

20 Reasons to be Naked This Winter, written by someone, ignored, and rewritten by TJ

1. Heater is stuck on.
2. Locked in the bathroom, it doesn’t occur to you to get out of the shower.
3. Too lazy to do laundry yet too finicky to wore jeans you already wore the day before.
4. Same as above, but more valid, because a baby pooped on those jeans.
5. Locked in a heated “who can be naked the longest” battle with… anyone.
6. Attempting to shame yourself into shaving your legs by constantly having to look at them.
7. Attempting to Stockholm Syndrome your significant other into being okay with you never shaving your legs.
8. You have a great rack.
9. You were going to have sex but fell asleep on the couch while your partner was brushing his teeth.
10. You got out of the shower and realized you had no place to go so, fuck it.
11. Waiting for your husband to notice you have no clothes on and ask why so you can passive aggressively bitch him out for shrinking all your clothes in the wash when he was JUST trying to HELP.
12. You hate your naked body slightly less than you hate the way all of your clothes make your body look.
13. Baby oil slip and slide in the hallway.
14. Trying to get overstaying house guests to leave.
15. Because you have no concept of “good naked” and “bad naked.”
16. Because you imagine yourself to be some kind of natural, deep, in with yourself and the earth type of person and haven’t connected that to the fact that you have no friends yet.
17. You’ve given up like the grandparents in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but you’ve taken to your tub instead of a living room bed.
18. Over-holidayed and you’ll be DAMNED if you’re going to buy bigger pants.
19. You grew a suit of body hair, rendering clothes unnecessary.
20. A victim of crippling paranoia, you painted your entire home flesh-colored and stripped off all of your clothes in order to hide during the inevitable impending break in during which your precious Hummel collection will be stolen. You also paint the Hummels flesh colored.

Not too bad of a job, I think, especially since I myself am never naked.

Anyway, Internet, there’s absolutely nothing redeeming about the last few pages of this magazine, so I’m just going to sum them up for you, bullet-point style:

– This month in the pretty girl is murdered/gets cancer section, a pretty girl is… murdered! Apparently, the most dangerous part of a relationship is when you break it off. So, basically, Cosmo says to stay with that dickhead forever or DIE. Judging by Cosmo, you’re especially at risk if you’re unusually pretty. OR, it could be that Cosmo only finds your death sad and tragic if you’re particularly pretty.

– This is how Cosmo thinks you can double your “going out” wardrobe. Get all your best stuff, go over to a friend’s house with all your lady pals, put on a “good beat,” and swap clothes around until everyone is hot. Or, until someone is crying and left with her own clothes because no one likes them/she doesn’t fit in everyone else’s. Also, seriously? Musical sequined tops? Is this real life? Does Cosmo live in real life?

– Oh, the fashion section. It’s the holidays, so basically, wear something disco-bally and you’re fine. I guess. So much of this stuff exposes back. Am I the only one who feels more modest exposing a inch or so of cleavage than showing my entire back? Am I a Back Prude? Am I alone in my back prudery?

– Lastly, here’s Cosmo’s big tip for boosting your health this holiday season – use hand sanitizer after you touch something germy OH MY GOD, Cosmo, and I thought I’d been phoning it in recently.

BAM. TJ NOTED.

Old notes:

November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
August 2011
September 2011

 

The semi-triumphant but mostly awkwardly out of practice return of TJ’s Cosmo Cliff’s Notes.

Ok, you guys. Normally I start out TJ’s Cosmo Cliff’s Notes by talking about how busy you all must be, and how I got the idea from the page in the front of Cosmo that tells you all the best parts of the magazine so you don’t have to even bother reading it, and how I decided to take it a step further in case you didn’t even have time to BUY it because you’re all so busy and I appreciate that, but I’VE been busy for MONTHS. And none of you have summed up Cosmo for me.

I’m not complaining, I’m just saying I’ve figured out a lot about where I stand with you, Internet, and how our relationship works.

Anyway! TJ’s Cosmo Cliff’s Notes! I’m making my return with a Kardashian, so I have some really high expectations. I hope we get to talk about butts!

Let’s just dive right in. I fear I might be a bit rusty, but I have Kim Kardashian right here and the cover says she’s going to let me steal the one trait that makes her unstoppable, so once I nab that from her, I should be… well, unstoppable.

Through the magic of the Internet, this seems instant to you, but there was actually a very long pause here while I flipped through about a quarter inch of ads, at least three of which featured Drew Barrymore. I’m not judging. I’m just — is this what she’s doing with her time now? I’m not judging, just noting.

As usual, right up in the front is the page listing 10 Things You’ll Learn in August Cosmo, but I’m not going to read it, because that would be taking the easy way out. I prefer to glean my own lessons from Cosmo after some deep critical reading and thoughtful introspection, and then share them with you.

I am not even shitting you, I am 42 pages in and the content of the magazine has just started. Ask Cosmo! The Ask Cosmo is a special section of the magazine that gives us a glimpse into the lives, culture and day to day problems of women who can send and email to a magazine but can’t figure out how the hell to work Google.  I think I’ve been reading Cosmo long enough to have a go at answering these queries!

Q: I love flirting with guys at bars, but my friend always follows me around like a stage-five clinger. How do I let her know she’s messing up my game? (August 2011 Cosmo, pg 42)
A: Clearly your friend doesn’t understand the situation! Explain it to her in simple terms, like this: “Hey, pal. I invited you to hang out at the bar just in case there’s no one better for me to talk to. If there is, I’m not interested in hanging out with you. This is because I’m a huge bitch.” That should solve it!

Q: Does showing my tan lines at work make me seem unprofessional?
A: Depends. Are you a stripper? Then no. Are you anything else at all? Let’s revisit this next month, and bring your entire work wardrobe, because I feel like it needs to go in the trash. Whore.

Ok – What’s Sexy Right Now. I have to give a little disclaimer here – I’m a bit late with this post, so this stuff will ONLY BE SEXY for a few more days. Proceed with caution lest you find yourself extremely unsexy.

Sexy: Carnivals, instant photographs, being friends with your ex, pop up restaurants.

Okay, I don’t know if I’d call those things sexy, but you’ve got about 3 days to go take some Polaroids of a carny. HURRY.

I’m glad the Kim Kardashian article is right up front here, so I can get her trait to make myself unstoppable to get through the rest of this magazine. Reading… reading… reading… got it. Okay, the one trait that makes Kim Kardashian unstoppable is that she tries to learn from her mistakes.

That is not going to help me. I have spell check. Thanks for nothing, KK.

Anyway, apparently her nickname is “Princess Jasmine.” I don’t think anyone calls her Princess Jasmine. Maybe we should just call her T-bone. Get it? GET IT?

Here are the gutsy moves that Justin Timberlake claims will make you have guys “crushing on you” constantly:

– don’t give a crap what people think of you
– tell dirty jokes
– be a chick who can hang out with guys

I’m going to break in here, Internet, and tell you not to do any of those things on a daily basis, but when you visit Justin Timberlake and all his “buds” in their apparent frat house, feel free to put on the act. Damn. Cosmo is like the freshmen on a college men’s swim team. I keep getting older, but it keeps staying the same age. The same, V-shaped age.

Some people have bangs. I don’t really get the point of this page other than that. But if you didn’t know, some people, including some celebrities, sometimes wear bangs in their hair.

“August is when the foxiest trends of the season officially obliterate last year’s obsessions. Here’s all the stuff that’s big… and the topics that are beat.” (August 2011 Cosmo, pg 56)

Categories of FOXY TRENDS include: Most lickable abs, most-hated power source, mappable baby name, and whacked-out Johnny Depp do. If you want to be FOXY instead of BEAT, you’ll know that you want to lick Trevor Donovan and not Kellan Lutz; that you hate nuclear power, not oil; that Morroccan Cannon somehow wins some kind of give-a-shit battle over Egypt Keys-Beatz, and that Jack Sparrow’s dreads are somehow a “foxy trend” over the Mad Hatter’s hair. I don’t even know. I sat here for a good 10 minutes trying to make sense out of this page. I only took a year off. What happened to Cosmo? Is this even in English? I don’t understand what’s going on, and I’m worried and insecure.

The Naughtiest Thing I’ve Ever Done: “I Exposed My Lying, Cheating, BF!” Cosmo, you’re not charged by the letter. You could have fit the rest of “boyfriend” in there. Anyway, funny story – this article is about a chick who found out a guy she was seeing had a pregnant girlfriend and told the girlfriend all about. YOU GUYS. SAME THING HAPPENED TO ME. Almost. Way back at the start of this blog. Let’s talk about me for a second. This guy’s WIFE called me. In TEARS. Oh man. It was awful. I told her everything. I don’t feel naughty, so I don’t see why this chick does. This article was disappointing in terms of naughtiness.

101 Things About Men! I cannot believe Cosmo has 101 MORE undiscovered things about men.

– He forgets stuff because you’re hot! He can’t help the fact that he can’t be assed to pay attention when you’re talking and remember important details. It’s because you’re so sexy, baby!

– 48% of guys want you to jump them while they’re taking a cool shower on a hot day. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but no 48% of any 100 guys on the street sample group came up with that, Cosmo. It’s not a “move that will make him melt” if YOU come up with a multiple choice question and create all the options yourself.

– Decode his Facebook status: No. Again, every month – he is NOT sending you secret coded messages in his FB status, in the way he hugs you, in which side of his pants he hangs his penis. No secret messages. No.

– 36% of men say they’re more attracted to a woman if she’s using an iPad. In related news, 36% of men want to have sex with you, wait til you fall asleep, and then play with your iPad.

Fun, Fearless Fashion! A furry vest, a skirt with a thigh-high slit, sequined short shorts and black leather leggings? More like Fun, Mirrorless Fashion!

Apparently, the new “it” jeans under $75 are ones with fake rips all up and down the front. Didn’t we already do this when I was in high school? And all our parents were like, “I’M NOT PAYING GOOD MONEY FOR CLOTHES WITH HOLES IN THEM, BY GEORGE!” It’s 2011, right? So we’re on what, a 12 year cycle? People who saved Cosmo for the last 12 years are going to be able to save a shit ton of money on magazines.

In case you need help shopping for jeans, Cosmo has a list of the best ones for you, but you can only fall into ONE of these categories: curvy, short, small butt, or full butt. If you fall into more than one, you have more problems than Cosmo can help you with.

Cosmo wants to help you look GORGEOUS naked, though, even if you are the odd freak that is both short AND curvy AND has a small butt. They suggest shaving your “V-zone” and lighting a candle, you wee Sasquatch. Try lurking in the darkest corners of the room.

I feel like I’m a little out of practice here, guys. Or Cosmo has gotten boring. I’ve already flipped past the “how to do a ponytail” and “hey, it might be a good idea to wear sunscreen!” sections. I’m looking for the “I died/almost died because of a man/skin cancer” story. I always find a valuable lesson in those, but in the mean time, in case you’re wondering, David Beckham is high on the “stud meter” while Arnold Schwarzenegger is low. If you need help in terms of scale, Chad Ochocinco and Levi Johnston fall in the middle.

Please add “stud” to the list with “sexy” and “foxiest trends,” I’m going to put them on a post it and stick it to the dictionary I’m wrapping up to send Cosmo for Christmas.

Did you guys ever wonder what men think of your killer sex moves? Did you ever wonder, but not realize you could walk up to your husband/boyfriend/significant other and say, “Hey, what do you think, on a scale of happy face to sad face with an average face in the middle, of it when I spank your butt with a spatula?” Well, wonder no more, because Cosmo went and asked men for you so you don’t have to use your big girl words! (Sad face on the spatula, by the way, ladies.)

Also sad face: licking his knees, twisting his nipples, asking him to give you a lap dance

Guys are unsure, though, how they feel about it when you lick the roof of their mouth.

You know how there was that big thing about Tiger Moms? Well, far be it for Cosmo to miss a trend, but Cosmo is not interested in moms, because YUCK! So, here’s four times you need to be a TIGER GIRLFRIEND!

1. When he’s blowing his money instead of paying his debts!
– Weird! It says “his” money and “his” debts, yet YOU are supposed to get all tigery about it! I didn’t know that!

2. When his ex friends him on Facebook!
– Control, ladies. This is ALL ABOUT CONTROL. Tiger! Rawr!

3. You’re ready to get married, but he’s not sure.
– WHY IS HE STILL HAVING THOUGHTS OF HIS OWN AT THIS POINT?

4. He can’t stand his job.
– You need to get TOUGH and MAKE him find a new one. Don’t LISTEN to his crap about “bad economy” and “not a lot of jobs available.” CLAWS. *SNICK* *SNICK* (That’s the Wolverine sound effect. I don’t know what tiger claws sound like. I think they’re out by default.)

Oooh, a flow chart! Are You Texting Him to Death?

Let’s see… it’s okay to text to apologize, to discuss something awesome you did at work, to EFFICIENTLY send him evening plans while he is at work, and to text him “good night” IF you are sleeping apart after THREE consecutive nights of sleeping together.

It is NOT okay to text to chat/say what’s up, to remind him to do anything that needs to be done for the benefit of him or both of you (take out trash, pick up dry cleaning, etc), any news not directly related to him, or to tell him he did something wrong and upset you.

He is VERY BUSY and does not have TIME to be your friend/be held responsible for menial tasks/or be made aware that he hurt your feelings. When he is away from you, it is MAN TIME. Not “petty lady issues” time. Don’t make a nuisance of yourself.

There’s an article here about 5 Words That Shut a Bitch/Bully Down, but you can’t fool me. I’ve been on the Internet. It takes more than 5 words. It takes hundreds and hundreds of super earnest words from uninvolved people before a bitch/bully gives up because oh my god shut uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup.

Here are some Shameless money saving tips, which we all need, because it’s super embarrassing when other people find out that you’re responsible and conscious of your spending: eat dinner in! Search for art by price! Have you heard of this thing called GROUPON?

Did you know that one of Summer’s Top Sexual Health Hazards is having sex in the sand? I didn’t either! I can’t believe enough people do that that it made the OFFICIAL LIST of TOP summer sexual health hazards! I mean, the TOP ONES. This isn’t ALL the summer sexual health hazards – Cosmo can only fit so many. This is just the TOP ones. And enough idiots have sex in the sand that it ranks! Well, you guys – don’t do that!

This just in 30 years ago: smoking raises your risk of cancer.

Here’s a peek into doing the fall trends YOUR way, if YOUR way includes sitting on an antique dresser in a $400 dress and motorcycle boots or wearing a $500 sequin top with no pants or wearing a completely sheer top with no bra but just keeping your back coyly turned to everyone ever, which it doesn’t so eff this.

I know I say this every month, but you guys. The fashion section. None of this is any good. None of it. You just can’t wear this stuff at all. No. You can’t. There’s no reason for it. There’s just no goddamn earthly reason for any of this. IT’S JUST EGREGIOUS.

Here are two things that Cosmo finds “daring” and “gutsy,” respectively: Cutting your hair short, and decorating your bedroom in a non-standard yet completely detailed and prescribed by Cosmo kind of way. Because everyone knows only long hair is sexy and that expressing yourself through your home decor is for hippies and and teenagers. By bucking these universally held truths, you are a DARING, GUTSY lady, you pixie-cutted clear lamp owner, you!

Hey, something new – Shameless cooking tips! And here I thought only saving money and getting good deals on things was a shameful thing to do. Turns out, Cosmo is also giving us permission to feel no shame about getting the smell of garlic off of our hands or including orange juice in recipes. You don’t have to be ashamed about trying out some Greek influences in your cooking, guys.

WHY DOESN’T COSMO KNOW WHAT WORDS MEAN ANYMORE?

Q: What can I eat to help me de-stress?
A: Well, Cosmo suggests eggs, but I find that everything works. I don’t mean “Hey, pick something – anything – and have a nice snack, and you’ll calm down in no time!” I mean everything. Go into the kitchen, open all the cabinets and fridge, and just go the hell to town. Works for me. Or, at least, the stress is squeezed out by a feeling of shame. And gas. Either way. Effective.

The Cosmo Quiz this month is “ARE YOU GOOD IN BED?,” but since this is TJ’s Cosmo Cliff’s Notes, I’ll stream line it for you. Forget these five questions, I can trim this down to one. Go have sex with the person of your choice and say, “Hey, was that any good?”

BAM. CLIFF’S NOTED.

Old notes:
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010