Chola Snow White
As a feminist, I’ve experienced many an October where everyone I’ve ever encountered wants to know my opinion on “slutty” Halloween costumes. If you’ve hibernated during October for the last ten years and don’t know what I’m talking about, I believe that Cady Heron of Mean Girls explained it best when she said “Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.” This film affirmed the uniform of lingerie and fluffy animal ears for women dressing up for Halloween.

S&M Sleeping Beauty
As soon as the first pumpkin spice beverage has been purchased, my best friend and I ritually visit our favorite Halloween costume websites. We usually begin with the intention of finding ideas for costumes to build ourselves, but this process always devolves into judgment, offense, and exasperation with our peers. Last year’s introduction of Chola Snow White was only topped by this year’s S&M Sleeping Beauty. The sexy gardener, sexy shower, and sexy take-out box are all costumes I can’t even begin to understand. Not because the women in the photos are wearing about 10 inches of fabric, but because these are peculiar costume ideas in the first place. Really? A shower? Even an unsexy shower is a bizarre costume. 

"Sexy" Shower
I happen to envy the women who wear ten inches (or less) of fabric on Halloween. When I want to dress as someone unlike myself, I do tend to resort to the more revealing of costumes because I do not feel confident enough in my everyday life to show that amount of my body. My body is also not something I often use for attention-getting purposes, but on two nights of the year (Halloween and my birthday) I am glad to have an excuse to pretend I’m effortlessly willing to expose the goods.

So to the ladies and gentleman who plan on painting on some whiskers to go with your lingerie for Halloween, I give you my blessing. If you’ve added the word “sexy” to the beginning of your costume title (sexy Ash Ketchum, sexy Obama, sexy couch cushion), then more power to you. If you actually purchased one of the wildly overpriced costume-in-a-bags from a costume website, I’m judging you more than a little, but I hope it was worth the overdraft fee.

So, You’re Going as a Sexy Pumpkin?

So my twenty-first and a half birthday is coming up in November and I feel like I’ve done a lot of growing up in the last five months. Most days, I can appropriately dress myself in the morning, my parents sometimes call me for advice, and I accidentally have my very first credit card (thanks, Gap?). However, as a 21 year old, I had hoped to be better at drinking by this point.

More specifically, I thought I would know how to order a drink without totally embarrassing myself in front of the Ed Hardy-clad tender behind the bar. It would be really cool if I was one of those badass girls who could shotgun (whatever that is) any range of beers or brush my teeth with Jack every morning. Too bad I’m kind of a pussy. I can’t even get drunk on wine, discussing urban renewal and laughing heartily through purple-stained lips. Some fantasies are just not meant to become reality.

When the guy on 6th who works for the bar and asks me and my pretty girlfriend to leave my friends and smile, free beverage in hand, displayed in the front window of their club, I’ve resorted to ordering a vodka cranberry. This Sex and the City popularized drink is a good choice early in the night because I can drink it quickly and get back to my friends feeling a little buzzed and not offended by any strange ingredients. I mention this because, while Long Island Iced Teas get me too wasted, too quickly, I’ve learned that they don’t even have tea in them. 

So where the heck am I supposed to figure out how to order a drink I actually want? Alcohol is too expensive to keep buying things I don’t drink. Also, if I’m not drinking, how will it ever be acceptable for me to break out my dance moves in public?

College parties are no help in determining what I like because everything comes out of a trashcan. Going up to bartenders and asking for “something girly” has also proven to be unsuccessful along this quest. The maker of the beverage has no idea what they’ve put in it or what to call it, and I usually don’t like whatever the pineapple-cherry-drunkaid concoction is anyway.

I decided to ask around: work friends, random people with pretty drinks in clubs, the blogosphere. Thus far, these are some girly drinks I’ve come up with that are pretty fool proof.

Lemon Drop – I think this is actually supposed to be taken as a shot of something lemony, sugary, and alcoholic, but it’s sort of thick, so I sip it instead. I think I actually got this drink from the very entertaining ABC Family show Greek.

Vodka Shirley Temple – This brilliant beverage comes from a super-cute girl I work with. This alcoholic Shirley Temple is just like the drink you loved as a little girl, but dirtier. If you don’t have a mouth filled with sweet-teeth, this may not be the drink for you. The only reason I’m sure there is alcohol in this at all is because I become a much better dancer and remind everyone how much I love them upon finishing it.

Cake Batter Vodka – I don’t know if there’s anything better than drinking cake. If you have a lot of feelings and prefer to eat them rather than sharing them with your therapist, then this is the drink for you. You really don’t need to mix this with anything because, again, you can’t taste the alcohol in it.

If you’re ordering a beverage at a happy hour and want to drink something a little classier than you would on a night downtown, may I suggest to you a Mojito (a refreshing warm-weather favorite), a White Russian, or, for the upcoming winter months, hot chocolate or coffee with Bailey’s Irish Cream added to it.

Why Isn’t There a Handbook to Girly Drinks?

Since I was a sophomore in high school, break ups have motivated me to do two things: write poetry that verbally castrates the subject of the work and cut all of my hair off. The former has led to both miserably humiliating and brilliant representations of my talents as a writer. The latter has only been miserably humiliating.

Though I seem to believe otherwise when experiencing the third of the five stages of heartbreak (Despair, Hunger, Rage, Neediness, and finally, Complacency), I look awful with short hair. My face hair is too thick, and, yet, too fine to wear anything that lands above the top of my shoulders. Let’s just say that the frizzy, blonde disco ball haircut has not and will never be in style. The numerous unfortunate-looking school pictures of this haircut don’t seem to occur to me when I’m sitting in the chair watching chunks of gold slide down the itchy black satin, creepily chanting “more…shorter…keep cutting.” It’s like I become convinced that I have grown so much from enduring this relationship that my face has, in fact, changed shape and a tiny flapper bob is exactly what I need to move on. Or win him back. Whatever.

For the next few (or several) months, I impatiently wait for my strands to make little ringlets at my collarbone and for my love life to regain consciousness. This time around, I’ll do it all differently, I say. I learn to trim my own bangs and how not to ask a guy for his number. I experience moments of regret, for the loss of both my ex and my hair, as well as moments of empowerment that I have moved on to better things. Eventually, I can make a pretty braid that reaches the middle of my back and I fall in love with a nice boy who has his own head of pretty hair.

Earlier this week, I got a haircut. My first-ever non break up haircut. I walked right up and showed her a picture of me—not of Alexis Bledel, Kirsten Dunst or some other pretty celebrity I wish I looked like—with my hair exactly how I wanted it. This was sure to be a foolproof haircut because I’d already seen the flattering features on my own head.

For the first time in my teen-to-adult life, I rather like it. (And, hey, so does my boyfriend!)

The First-Ever Non Break Up Haircut

As much as I am uncomfortable admitting it, I have somehow become an adult. I pay bills, have my own cat and apartment, and I don’t have to ask anyone’s permission before staying up past my bedtime. Really, being a grown up is just like being a kid, but you have to do more things by yourself. As I discussed in my last post, I still get tummy aches like I did when I was little, but no one goes out to buy crackers and Sprite for me anymore.

In the last month or so, I have involuntarily done a lot of grown-up things. When my car broke down a couple of weeks ago, my parents weren’t around to talk to any of the several car-related entities I had to contact for the next few days. Rather, I cried at Mr. AutoZone when he wouldn’t make my engine start. I then cried on Mr. Chevy Dealer because he said he couldn’t help me. I blubbered through a phone call with Mr. Triple A when my car stalled on an exit ramp, uncontrollably sobbed at Mr. Teddy the nice but possibly too-friendly Corvette Guy when he pushed my car out of the way, and then whimpered at Mr. Towing Services Man as he took poor, broken Sophie away. Basically, my coping mechanism for communicating what I need to others is to cry until they don’t ask me questions anymore.

Another thing I’ve done several times in my short life that I didn’t realize would change when I “grew up” is shopping for glasses. I remember the excitement of trying on all the styles in the store, especially the funky-colored frames I would never consider, until sliding the perfect pair over the bridge of my nose and the top of my ears. Last Sunday, I excitedly arrived at EyeMasters, ready to try on the frames I wanted, without a nagging parent persuading me to choose something more their style. If you wear glasses, then you know that glasses store salespeople are often unhelpful and uninterested in what looks good on your face. Standing alone in a big store of eye-glasses staring back at me was intimidating and I found that I, in fact, do not at all know what my face looks like. I also never knew all the things you have to put on glasses to make them anti-scratch, anti-glare, anti-ruin-in-purse or how expensive those things would be in addition to the cost of my frames and my super-specialized lenses.

Is this what it is to be an adult? Spend copious amounts of money if you want something done right and cry at people until they do what you say? Maybe I’ve got this figured out after all.

On My Recent Experiences as a Grown Up

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