Ah FFJD advice seekers. It is I, E. Jean minus 40 years, ready and waiting for your jegging conundrums and man problems. Here are a few of the questions I’ve received of recent, and my magical advice. My wisdom descents directly from my Snuggie.
Help! I spent a good 2 hours at a happy hour tonight talking to this one guy. It was getting late and I have work tomorrow so I told him I was going to take off. His response…“catch you around.” I kind of paused for a moment, waited to see if that was it, and left feeling very dissatisfied. Had this guy not just spent the last 2 hours chatting, flirting, dancing? But he didn’t ask for my number? I’ll never see him again. WTF. This isn’t the first time, either. What do you do in this situation? Offer? Ask for his? That seems a bit too…I’m not sure, but doesn’t feel right. Help!!!
Firstly, WTF. Like seriously dude, WTF. That was annoying. And rude. But the unfortunate answer, is that if he really wanted your number, after two hours of dancing the rumba while you envision which Madison Marcus dress you’re going to wear on your second date, He’s Just Not That Into You.
Sorry to borrow from a dumb movie, but I truly believe if a guy wants to go out with you, he will make it happen. Sorry baby. But, to the boy - don’t waste her or any of my readers’ time with this “oh lets dance and I’ll buy you a vodka soda but then I’m going to go” crap. Or maybe he just has a girlfriend, which makes it extra unacceptable.
I’m a long time online dating profile holder, but first time caller, as it were. After a great deal of browsing and perusing, I finally let a nice, young, DC-area Jewish man take me out on a date. I watch a lot of SVU so actually meeting someone from OKCupid in person was a really big deal for me. We had lots of standard witty banter via email, but when we sat down for drinks, we had literally nothing to talk about. It was painful, but I stuck it out to the end, mostly by inventing super-lame conversation topics.
Needless to say, I am scarred by my first online date experience. And it has become readily apparent to me that beginner’s luck only exists in archery at Camp Judaea…
Any tips on how I can avoid such disasters in the future? Is there a shortcut to getting the hang of online dating?
One of the keys to online dating is to HAVE AS LITTLE BUILD-UP AS POSSIBLE. There have been a lot of instances where I chatted too much with a guy and was like zomg we’re getting married yay yay this guy is fantabulous and then we meet up and I want to chew off my arm with boredom and I’ve realized how much time was wasted. Yes, trade a couple messages, but leave the real talking for in-person interaction.
Another important thing: no expectations. If and when you spend time chatting with someone online, there are expectations and imaginations running wild and before you know it you’re thinking about whether or not the closet space you require will be an issue once you move in together.
Other than that, never go out with a guy whose only picture is him in sunglasses. He. Will. Be. Fugly.
FFJDers - most of you have probably gone on Birthright.
But to those who haven’t (and to the non-Jews) what is Birthright? Basically its a free trip to Israel for young Heebs to learn about their homeland.
But over here at FFJD, it’s known as The Trip Where You Will Upload Five Facebook Albums in Twenty Minutes or Let’s All Wear Bandanas, They’re Cool Again.
Birthright is a magical ten days and I had a blast. The religious aspects, are great too. This post is not meant to by any means obscure the importance and goodwill of the Birthright organization.
I just want to get down to the make-outs and outfits, okay? This is sort of a mixture of Birthright advice, nostalgia, and proper etiquette for cropping that picture of you and the camel.
1. You have to make out with a soldier or someone on your bus.
So this is sort of like, the hidden or not so hidden message of Birthright: you will get intoxicated, and hopefully make Jewish babies. Lots and lots and lots of Jewish babies.
Basically, (by my decree) have to make out with someone on your bus. If it’s a hot Israeli soldier, even better. If it’s that AEPi boy you can’t believe you’re actually going to touch, don’t worry about it, what happens on Birthright is sort of a loophole. It doesn’t matter that he’s a dweeb or annoying, you’re in Israel, so it’s okay!
I would say “what happens on Birthright stays on Birthright,” but I think I’m a) mixing that up with Vegas and b) there is no way anything you do won’t be recorded as some inside joke with everyone else on your bus. i.e.: “OMG JENNA WITH THE MIKA WITH CAMELS!!! LOL."
2. Bring a lot of tank tops and headbands.
Your clothing will get ruined. Also, on Birthright, camp rules apply: you can look like you’re going to the gym 24/7 and it’s not only expected, but actually cooler. Gym shorts, tank tops, sports bras, it’s just a looking cute hall pass. Plus with all the sleep you’re not getting there’s no point in trying.
3. Crocs are kewl for some reason.
Crocs are only acceptable if a) you’re a baby and are putting little Mickey Mouse accessories on them, or b) if you’re on a trip that requires some "water hikes.” On my Birthright trip, I had faux Crocs. I went there. THEY ARE SRSLY SO COMFY.
4. You’re not going to sleep.
Because you’ll be too busy a) talking about Israel, b) making out with someone, and then talking about Israel, or c) trying to avoid the bobcat in your Bedoin tent. This happened to me.
This is why I usually remain within a 100 foot radius of a) a traffic light, b) CVS, and c) an Intermix.
5. There will be lots of Facebook albums. Lots and lots of Facebook albums.
My favorite is when friends come back from Birthright and I open my Facebook to an epic photodump. Yes, pose with the camel. Yes, pose at Maoz. Yes, pose at the Wall. Yes, pose with a gun. And a soldier.
6. You will only eat pita and hummus.
But srsly, pita and hummus for breakfast. Pita and hummus for lunch! Pita, and maybe with some hummus for dinner. Just until you can’t possibly eat any more chickpeas and your small intestine starts crying and you swear you’re never going near Sabra again.
Let’s talk about Snoop Dogg. Snoopy. Snooping. Disregard both previous animal references, because this is a different sort of beast.
I’m talking about checking a significant other’s email, text messages, or stuff in general. Getting in someone else’s soup, per se. Although that sounds high unsanitary. And not too tasty.
You’ve begun dating someone, or you’ve hooked up three times and maybe they have even seen your apartment in daylight, which means this is getting serious. But we’re not at toothbrush level yet. Or maybe you’ve only hooked up with them once. Whatever.
When you’re learning about someone else, you want to get all the best information possible. Within reason that is, I for one have fallen prey to letting other people’s intel about someone new impede on my judgment of their character. (Aka scoping out your mutual friends and finding one with allegiances to you to SPILL EVERYTHING ZOMG DID HE ACTUALLY USED TO DATE ERIKA?)
But what are you supposed to do if you’re left alone with his or her cell phone, email, or dresser? To snoop, or not to snoop? It’s certainly tempting.
Snooping is wrong. But you’ve totally done it. It’s sort of hard to resist sometimes, but I guarantee it’ll bite you in the ass, destroy trust, and make you paranoid.
Is snooping ever okay?
There was an instance in college when I looked at the phone of a guy I was dating. I was visiting him, and he was acting weird. I found horribly mean messages about me, and I got on the next train home. It was terrible and traumatic, but I’m not sure I regret it. This might be a special case. That being said, I know that what I did was wrong. I don’t know what I would have done, however, if I had stayed and let the weekend continue. I should have asked what was wrong, but given the sort of thing he was writing about me, I wanted nothing to do with him ever again.
What if you discover the person you’re dating has snooped? Either he or she has admitted it to you, or you catch them looking at your stuff. What should you do in this situation? I know that it would be very difficult to recover from. Or even worse - if you discover (or they discover) some two-timing behavior.
There are two kinds of people on the planet. Those who love consignment and vintage shopping, and those who find it gross. I fall into the former category of humans. I love nothing more than consignment shopping - finding something that nobody else has, getting a deal (ffjd), and having to do a little digging.
I’m no stranger to bargain-shopping, in fact, I am actually the COO of Loehmanns. Well, at least I should be for the amount of money I spend there. (They also follow me on Twitter. The day that happened I knew I made it.)
I’ve had amazing finds over the years - five minutes ago, a creamsicle-colored Oscar de la Renta dress (I chopped half of of it off…it’s all in the tailoring), for $75. From my favorite consignment store in DC, Second Chance (Bethesda). If you go, tell them you know me. (This is not a sponsored post, sadly.) The pinnacle of my designer bargain hunt still remains the Herve Leger for $100 at Redz Trading in Bethesda.
The point is - if you love consignment (and also vintage, my t-shirt collection is awesome although smells a bit, this is why I miss living in New York), you’ve got a friend in me. Who knows, maybe you could get into it?
Boys often unequivocally don’t understand consignment or vintage. They’re often too busy in the racks of J.Crew or not really caring whether or not that vintage Celine top is such a steal you want to cry with joy.
Your alliance to Team Old or Team New With Tags aside, here are some tips from FFJD for vintage or consignment shopping.
1. Are you going to be paying more to tailor it?
Half of vintage shopping resides in what you’re going to do to the garment after. Since you’re not buying new, you don’t have an array of sizes to choose from. I’ve nipped and tucked a ton of great things, but if the tailoring is more than the piece, chances are it’s not worth it.
2. Is this a really ridiculous item of clothing? Theme-party only?
I once almost bought a dress thinking, “I guess I could wear this to a funeral or a 90’s grunge theme party.” That’s when you know you have a shopping problem. A big one.
3. What does it smell like?
Consignment and vintage is not for the squeamish. But really, it can be difficult to get smells out. I bought a great leather skirt in Buenos Aires, but it wouldn’t stop smelling like a rodeo. That’s gross. I left it there.
4. What kind of condition is it in?
The whole point is that there is some wear and tear and you’re buying a piece with personality, but repairing vintage is pretty hard. Yes some character is half the allure, but if it’s beyond salvaging no cheap price will make it worth it.
5. Are you really getting a deal?
I’ve also included a list of some of my favorite consignment and vintage stores, in all of the cities I’ve lived in and some of my best finds, for my own satisfaction:
Second Chance Boutique: (Calvin Klein Black Label, Oscar de la Renta, Chanel, Escada)
Secondi: (Ungaro Dress, $60)
Ella-Rue: (Prada New Patent Leather Pumps, $150)
Immortal Uncommon Resale: (See by Chloe Dress, $125)
Pete’s Cheepees (Most t-shirts I own, as well as Levi’s shorts)
I know, I totally forgot to bring my own cup though. I hope they'll still make my half-calf venti soy vodka soda with a splash of grapefruit twist, do you think they will?
I'm sure. Want to go to Intermix after work? I have a date this weekend with the elliptical and then that guy from that happy hour we went to last week. I could NOT get over the fact that he knows Jeff from camp!!!
He was totally soooo adorbs. But like, smart cute and not too nerdy cute. Really your type I thought, especially when he started bbming you things like, "we should totally hang out sometime." Sooooo sweet! I bet he'll respond to your bbms this morning. Did he read them yet?
Ugh he read them but didn't respond. He hates me. I hope it goes well this weekend, we're supposed to get drinks at Churchkey. If not, that shit's ending up on FFJD.
(email your stories, love notes, and hate mail to email@example.com.)
It’s that time of year again, when throngs of hipsters (and fauxhemians) descend upond the deserts of Indio California, for a three day music festival. There is one goal, and one goal only to the Coachella music festival: out-indie everyone else. You love this obscure band? I loved them 10 months ago. You think that headband is cool around your forehead? Try it around your left ear. Yeah, that’s right. Thankfully we have our LA FFJD correspondent, with strict instructions on how to be cool at Coachella. (But not actually look like you’re trying, which you’re not right? Right? Let’s see what our LA Correspondent recommends:
Things to pack for Coachella:
Nothing says trendy more than having a baby. Everybody’s doing it. Like, every woman who is repopulating the earth due to instinctual Darwinian pressures. But no one’s like, actually, having their OWN baby. Pauper. So be sure to remember to bring your surrogate to all the raging fetes. And remember to announce that you’re expecting! You’re going to get so many “You’re not even showing!”-s.
Drugs. Coke, pot, heroin, meth and ketamine are OVER. Bring something new and fresh – like lines of steevia or binge drinking ionized H2O.
Dogs in bags are over. Bring along something unique and cold-blooded, like you! Leash up an African Fat-Tailed Gecko or the Bronx Zoo Cobra.
Soy free, dairy free, hemp enriched, faro grain, air. Low cal sugar free if available. They have some at Urth Café.
Extra percussion. You never know when a drum circle’s going to get started.
Your DJ. Wait, you don’t have one? Hahahaha, OH-KAY.
Things to say at Coachella:
“I play the hammer dulcimer for Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti”
“This is my general admission bracelet, my vip beer tent bracelet, my bracelet made out of recycled admission bracelets from past years, and my hospital bracelet for when I suffered from exhaustion.”
“Oh yeah, I know the actual Coachella. We worked together in Jackson Hole. I’m staying with some buddies in his Yurt in Old Deli, next month. Should be killer.”
“Are you going to that steam egg party tonight? I heard they’re going to pipe in a really retro scent.”
“I’m over electrotribal beats. I’m listening to older stuff – like polytheistic meditation bowl echo chants.”
“So if we get split up, let’s meet by the gluten-free, vegetarian Chicken Tika food tent.”
Things to wear at Coachella:
Oblong is the new defined shape. The bigger and more ambiguous the category of apparel, the better. Is it an indoor/outdoor fedora? Bloomers? California King fitted sheet? Who knows, who cares, you look so cool!
Tribal wears. The older the tribe, the better. Right now, it’s all about the Haus of 12 Tribes of Israel.
Fair-trade vegan non-pasteurized organic organza. (Pasteurized is OK, and optimally it should be Kosher.)
Enough with those clip-in feather hair extensions. Put in the entire bird. Like a tropical parrot or toucan. Whichever you can find on short notice.
Knee-high boots. I’m the only person I know who doesn’t have cankles, sodon’t even try any other variant.
Things to do at Coachella:
Be severely underweight. Really skinny is the new skinny.
Look dead on the inside. Nothing attracts people’s attention more than you not having their attention.
Not going to the actual event you paid for. The whole point of getting tickets to Coachella is to participate in the events surrounding Coachella. Does anyone really go to the bar mitzvah service? No. They go that night and get a wax mold of their hand, put colored sand in a bottle with googly eyes glued to the glass, dance the electric slide in a glow necklace and oversized pair of socks, and take a picture of themselves in front of a fake Hollywood sign.
Bop. If you do decide to go to a concert, don’t spaz. Sure they might be your favorite band, but be cool, man. There’s no other way to dance to Arcade Fire than to just bop. A slight bounce in the knees. A subtle nod upwards of the chin. You’re cool BUT NOT TOO COOL, which therein makes you cooler. Cool?
Be a model and or celebrity’s child. I don’t know, just figure it out.
Reserve your niche Coachella-specific tumblr or twitter account name NOW.
Who can forget “Hats at Coachella?” I mean, I can – and did, until I wrote this post.
Look sexually ambiguous. It triples your chance at a hook up – guys, girls,
If there’s one thing I know, it’s basketball. Who am I kidding? (I literally just wrote who am I kissing? instead. Oh FFJD.) Anyway, I don’t know much about basketball except that I’d like another vodka soda at the Verizon Center while I admire the biceps on the court. So I called in the big guns (ZING BICEP PUN!). Here is Beckley Mason, a writer for Hoopspeak, part of the ESPN TrueHoop Network NBA Blog. READ ON! And fill out your bracket so you win money and can buy shoes at Barneys!
Despite what you may hear, read or feel within the core of your being, picking March Madness teams is quite easy. It’s only hard if you begin with the belief that success is a possibility. Look, no one knows what’s going to happen, it’s just a logistical nightmare. There are over 300 college basketball teams, about one fifth of which end up in the tournament. Those teams play around 30 games each. So picking NCAA tournament games amounts to deciding between 64 of 300 possible teams of 19 year olds that often do not share common opponents and play wildly uneven competition.
The fact is that unless you watched and analyzed around 9,000 college basketball games, or even just the 1,800 played by tournament qualifying teams, you’re probably feeling unprepared to make an intelligent prediction about who will win each of the 63 games coming your way in the next two and a half weeks.
Personally, I find picking 64 teams playing 63 games produces more stress than watching A Clockwork Orange right before getting Lasik surgery. Just keep in mind that the reason everyone gets so excited for the tournament is because the results can’t be predicted. When it comes to March Madness, the real fun isn’t perfectly predicting the upsets in your own doomed bracket, but seeing nationally held expectations crumble beneath the thundering sneakers of young men chasing their dreams. That, and culturally sanctioned gambling.
For those who had other priorities besides charting the progress of Belmont’s pressure defense over the last five months, here’s a little primer to help you make picks:
· They’re #1!!: This seems silly, but it’s worth pointing out that # 1 seeds usually do pretty well in the tournament. Over the last thirty years, only twice has at least one #1 seed failed to make the Final Four. They have an 88% chance of making it to the sweet 16, so pencil them in. The caveat: only six times have all four teams made it. But, it’s safe to predict that each year two #1 seeds will make it to the Final Four. A #1 seed has never lost in the first round, so don’t even think about it.
· Odds predict upsets: After the top two seeds in each region, success rates fall off precipitously, to the point where you should pick one #13 seed to advance in the first round, as well as one or two #12 seeds, one or two #11 seeds, two #10 seeds and at least two #9 seeds. That being said, most lower seeds will get smushed before the Sweet 16, so picking a great bracket usually amounts to choosing the correct high seeds to make a deep run, rather than expertly navigating the early rounds.
· Go with your gut: Winning the NCAA tournament takes some serious luck, and so does winning a pool. Instead of agonizing over every game, it’s fine to just pick by whim. Remember, others may tell you they know more than the committee of people who seeded the teams, but that’s generally not true. If a team has a higher seed, they are almost always a better team, and will probably win. But because these are college kids playing one game (instead of a series), strange, unpredictable things happen. Don’t bother with too much logic.
· There will be blood: …Or carnage, at least, in each bracket. This year, in particular, features a lot of teams with relatively weak resumes for NCAA tournament teams. Expect plenty of upsets and a volatile tournament from the #3 seed down.
· Go with Goliath: This year, Kansas and Duke are the two, biggest, most skilled and wellrounded teams in the country. Duke returned the two best players from last year’s title run, and Kansas is a mature teams that has only lost two times all season. They’re in my final, and will be in a bunch of other people’s finals, but I just can’t see one of them not making it. Duke probably has the easier path to the Final Four.
· Big Blue: Kentucky is a #4 seed that should probably be seeded higher, if the seeding committee only considered the second half of the season. They are young, but loaded with talent and playing with confidence.
· Good players with funny names: Jimmer Fredette (BYU) and Kemba Walker (Connecticut) are the two most high profile, high scoring guards in the tournament. Both are capable of winning games singlehandedly, but probably neither is good enough to lead their team past the Elite 8.
· The Final Score: Most brackets ask you to guess the combined score of the championship game. It will almost always be between 135-147.
OK, if you’ve made it this far, you are ready to make some moolah. Remember: trust #1 seeds, pick plenty of first round upsets (then fewer going forward), and don’t be afraid to use mascot or school colors as a tie breaker. And if you correctly pick and upset, don’t ever reveal it was a shot in the dark—when predicting college hoops, it’s called “an educated guess.”
At FFJD HQ, where our interns are working away getting me a double latte (I am trying not to spill on my laptop or on my jammie pants), we usually don’t go sappy. We poke fun, we laugh at Intermix, and we wax poetic about the state of the NJB. That being said, this post made me cry.
Maybe it was the onions, or hormones, but like, whatevs. Read ‘em and weep.
This is the FFJD fairy-tale - therapists, NJBs, summer camps and all:
My husband first appeared in my life long before he was,
In fact, the origins of our paths crossing dates back almost 25 years,
When we attended the same nursery school.
And then attended the same preschool.
And then the same elementary school.
And then the same day camp.
And then the same middle school.
And then the same high school.
I know. Really.
Alas, our courses diverged in college, when he moved to study out of state.
But, as all Jewish fairy tales go, I, of course, spent quality time at his college,
When I was visiting my best friend there,
A visit during which we decided to go to the one and only frat party I would attend at that school,
A party at his frat house,
A party that he hosted.
A party at which I even used his bathroom,
no toilet paper and all.
But, did we actually meet and fall in love at any of these thousands of times that we were in the exact same place at the exact same time?
Of course not.
That’s not the way fate works,
At least not in this story.
Years later, we both ended up back where our stories began. We were both at home.
Same place, same time.
We were both looking for something,
For someone, really.
So, of course, the most logical thing to do
Was to track down that little Yenta Cupid on our quest for true love.
“I see you were an English major. So was I. What was your concentration?”
He had me at “English Major”.
Or, not quite.
I can remember exactly when I got his message.
I was taken aback when I saw his picture and his name registered.
This kid had been a Senior when I was a Freshman in High School.
So although I knew him, I didn’t really know him.
So, at that moment, I decided that I most certainly would not be dating this guy.
Oh, if only I could log into JDate now to see my response,
which I’m sure was something cool and noncommittal.
In any case, I cancelled my JDate membership,
With just enough time for him to secure my screen name.
We were just going to be friends.
And when he Instant Messaged me I had no expectations.
Except, our conversations were amazing.
And this was just over IM.
He loved food as much as I did,
And let me tell you,
That is a lot.
So, we spent a lot of hours in the beginning,
Talking about food.
What can I say?
I guess we all can see where the key to my heart lies…
As the days of IMs and emails and texts went on,
I started to like this guy who I had grown up riding the school bus with.
He was different than I remembered,
And I wanted to know more.
So, when he asked me if he could call me and we could continue our conversations on the phone,
I quieted my butterflies and pressed “Answer” on my old Samsung flip phone.
He has the most beautiful voice.
I think it made me start to fall in love with him right then and there.
We talked about our lives
And shared secrets
And the minutes turned into hours,
As we talked through the night and into the morning.
Still, I was not quite ready to meet for a date.
So, we talked for hours every night.
And every day.
Until, one day, I had to cut our conversation short.
I had an appointment.
I told him I was going to the allergist.
However, in full disclosure, I was going to see a therapist. I first went to this psychologist many years earlier when my grandmother was sick and dying, and I would go every so often, every few years, when I needed a little advice.
Even though we had shared a great deal over the phone,
I wasn’t quite ready to tell this guy, a guy whom I’d never really met, that I was going to see a shrink.
I was scared he would go running for the hills.
So, I told him we would talk after my allergy appointment,
And I went to tell my therapist all about this new, exciting guy.
And so, after my appointment,
Anxious to go home and finish my conversation with my crush,
I pulled out of her driveway and cut off a black Volkswagen with my black Toyota.
I looked up,
As I realized,
That it was him.
I couldn’t believe it.
I hadn’t seen him, in person, since High School,
But there, behind the wheel,
Was my crush, staring right at me.
So, of course, I did the obvious thing.
I sped away.
When I was safely out of sight, I pulled over and,
did the next obvious thing.
I texted him.
I think my text was something along the lines of,
“Um, was that just you in the black VW?”
He called me right away
and was laughing when he picked up the phone.
“Do you want to hear something funny?” He started. “You know the driveway you were pulling out of when you cut me off? That was the house where the shrink lived who I used to see in High School when my parents were getting divorced.”
Yep. We even went to the same kiddie psychologist.
So, at that point,
After our paths had literally crossed, once again,
I decided that I was ready for a proper first date.
He came to pick me up at my apartment,
And when I met him outside my building and climbed into his car, I saw him reach into the backseat and heard the sound of plastic rustling.
I figured he was bringing me flowers.
Nice, I thought.
Unnecessary, and a little forced,
And not exactly what I’d expected from him after our conversations,
But nice, nonetheless.
But, to my surprise and delight, when he pulled his hand from the backseat and handed me the package, I saw that it was not, in fact, flowers that he was handing to me,